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The year has been an economically volatile one, between the COVID-19 pandemic and political unrest resulting from the election and escalating tensions over racial justice. 

While overall employment has been steadily climbing since the summer, there are several industries and areas of the country that are being negatively affected. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in September 2020, more than 250 metropolitan areas across the country had an over-the-year decrease in employment. A recent report from BLS stated that “nonfarm employment declined in all of the 51 metropolitan areas with a 2010 Census population of 1 million or more.”

Largest percentage employment losses

According to the BLS, the largest over-the-year percentage losses employment in September 2020 were in Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii (−29.6 percent), Lake Charles, Louisiana (−19.6 percent), and Ocean City, New Jersey (−18.3 percent). 

Largest employment decreases in large metro areas

Of the large metropolitan areas with a population of one million or more, the largest over-the-year employment decreases were in Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV (−12.3 percent), New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA (−10.8 percent), and San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA (−10.6 percent).

Industries with declining employment

Many industries that are in the midst of being automated are suffering job losses. As of 2019, the fastest declining occupations are typists, parking enforcement workers, nuclear power reactor operators, and watch and clock repairers, according to the BLS. Conversely, the industries of retail, hospitality, education, transportation and health service industries are on an upswing. 

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