Unemployment rates continue to decline in cities across the Sunshine State, according to a new report from WalletHub.
With a waning pandemic, record inflation and higher consumer prices driving workers back into the job market, the U.S. economy added 431,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). To coincide with the latest BLS survey, WalletHub released a report titled “Cities Whose Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most” on Wednesday, analyzing which cities’ jobs have weathered the storm.
In order to identify where workers have been most affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the personal finance website compared 180 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least one of the most populated cities in each state — across two categories. In the first category, WalletHub compared the change in unemployment for the latest month for which they had data (March 2022) to March 2019, March 2020, March 2021 and January 2020, in order to show the impact since 2019 and since the beginning of the pandemic. The second category included each city’s overall unemployment rate. They then used the average of those categories to rank-order the cities.
Eleven cities in Florida landed on the list, with St. Petersburg ranking the highest at No. 14, followed by Tampa (No. 21), Port St. Lucie (No. 25), Cape Coral (No. 28), Pembroke Pines (No. 30), Jacksonville (No. 33), Fort Lauderdale (No. 35), and Tallahassee (No. 37) to round out the top 50 cities. Notably, St. Petersburg’s unemployment rate is down 16.86% since January 2020 and 53.56% since March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
As of March 2022, St. Petersburg’s unemployment rate sits at 2.4 percent, the lowest in the state.
Additionally, eight of the top 10 bounce-back cities from the report are in Arizona — with Scottsdale taking the top spot on the list. Detroit, Michigan sits dead last in the rankings, posting a 10% unemployment rate for March 2022.