Grand Rapids metro sees larger spike in unemployment

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The greater Grand Rapids area has seen a larger spike in unemployment than most cities during the COVID-19 crisis.

A study from SmartAsset compared unemployment rates from February 2020 and April 2020 for 389 U.S. metro areas and found the Grand Rapids-Wyoming metro area saw a 19.3% increase in unemployment during that time, making it the 14th most impacted metro on the list.

The greater Grand Rapids area saw a meager 2.5% unemployment rate in February, but by April, the percentage had risen to 21.8%

The U.S. unemployment rate rose nationally from 3.5% to 14.7% between February and April. However, the figure dipped to 13.3% in May, showing signs of a recovering economy, according to the study.

Top 10 metros with the highest unemployment increase

  1. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii – 32.3%
  2. Kokomo, Indiana – 30.3%
  3. Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, Nevada – 29.6%
  4. Atlantic City-Hammonton, New Jersey – 26.9%
  5. Elkhart-Goshen, Indiana – 26.6%
  6. Flint, Michigan – 26%
  7. Muskegon, Michigan – 25.5%
  8. Monroe, Michigan – 21.2%
  9. Saginaw, Michigan – 21.2%
  10. Battle Creek, Michigan (tie) Jackson, Michigan – 21%

Methodology

Data in the report is from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Survey.

To find the metro areas where unemployment has increased the most during COVID-19, SmartAsset calculated the percentage point increase in the unemployment rate between February 2020 and April 2020.

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