AMARILLO, TX – The August employment report showed the national unemployment rate fell to 8.4%, almost half of its high of 14.7% during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. These employment statistics are examples of further signs of a recovery in Central America.
To create more context at the city level, WalletHub released a semi-annual report on the cities where unemployment rates are rising again. The most restored cities include Amarillo, TX; Plano, TX and Lubbock, TX.
"Amarillo had the fourth best unemployment rate rebound in July," WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez told GlobeSt.com. “Overall, the city's unemployment rate is 5.3%, which is roughly half the average of 10.2%. Plano has the eleventh best unemployment recovery. The city has seen unemployment rise 103% since the beginning of the year, well below the average increase of 203%. The overall unemployment rate is 6.5% and is among the lowest in the country. "
Cities are on a delicate balance on business restrictions and employment in states where cases are on the rise, Gonzalez says.
"Public health should be a priority so cities can choose more restrictions than states when there is a local surge in COVID-19 cases," she says. “It's important to note that local locks are only effective under certain conditions. Unless the flow of people to and from badly affected areas is restricted, the virus will spread wherever infected people travel. "
Gonzalez said promoting public social distancing will help cities' unemployment rates recover faster.
"Promoting social distancing among the public will have a positive impact on the rebound in cities' unemployment rates," she said. “WalletHub's research shows that only about 30% of consumers would shop comfortably in person without protective measures, but another 47% would be comfortable if various protective measures such as wearing masks or plexiglass shields were introduced into the register. Social distancing during reopening leads to greater consumer confidence, which in turn leads to more people shopping and increasing cash flow for companies so they can start hiring again sooner. "