Impact on Jobs and Employment from Shelter-in-Place Restrictions Vary by City

April 27, 2021

The nation’s economy has ground to a halt as the entire country practices self-isolation to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The impact on all businesses has been profound, and as of March 27th, a record 3.3 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits. Service industry workers are among the hardest hit, particularly in the Leisure and Hospitality sector, including in several markets that may surprise you. 

Markerr analyzed ADP data to assess which cities are most exposed to coronavirus -related economic downturns given the role that services play in their employment bases. We looked at three specific sectors:

  • Retail: represents traditional brick and mortar retailers like clothing, bookstores, dealerships, etc. 
  • Food & Beverage: covers hospitality, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, etc. 
  • Arts, Entertainment & Recreation: encompasses museums, movie theaters, amusement parks, casinos, etc. 

These categories outline a vast majority of the jobs in the service industry that have been shuttered due to being deemed as non-essential industries, with the exception of restaurants that are open for limited curbside pickup.

While we know that there are obvious markets such as Las Vegas and Orlando, our analysis also flagged several less obvious markets like San Antonio and Columbus, Ohio.

Columbus is particularly interesting. Nearly 23% of the employees in this MSA could lose their jobs, or be furloughed and out of work for an extended period of time. When you also consider that Ohio State University is the market’s largest employer, you understand why Columbus could be hit particularly hard.

On the flip side, there are some markets that are more insulated. For the most part, they seem to be secondary cities with strong, diverse economies.

Data Source: ADP

Additional conclusions include: 

  • Markets that are most insulated tend to be secondary cities with a strong white collar workforce: Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Charlotte
  • Major markets are middle of the pack due to their diverse economies: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago
  • Cities that rely on major attractions obviously have the highest concentration of services jobs: Las Vegas, Honolulu, Orlando, Miami
  • Markets with a high percentage of hourly workers (in the retail sector specifically): Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario with 92%, Sacramento with 90% & San Antonio with 88%
  • A majority of workers that are in arts, entertainment and recreation are part-time workers with Tampa having the most at 69%