Until Americans emerge from their homes in an effort to make some return to normal life, it’s hard to imagine the scope of the economic impacts of the coronavirus. Right now, it seems that almost everything is affected everywhere, but many places and industries are more vulnerable to layoffs and shutdowns, and to disruption by the declines in demand.
Brookings Institution, a nonprofit policy organization, identified the industry groups most at risk based on a dire analysis by Moody’s Analytics. These most vulnerable sectors are: mining/oil and gas, transportation, employment services, travel arrangements, and leisure and hospitality.
More than 24.2 million Americans work in these five high-risk sectors that are facing a sharp slowdown, Brookings says, and from a geographic standpoint, the most affected places will be cities that rely more heavily on the energy industry, along with resort, leisure and amusement destinations across the the country.
Among the largest cities, this includes Las Vegas, Orlando, New Orleans (which has had a sharp rise in cases of COVID-19,) Honolulu and Oklahoma City.
The economically safest of the largest cities are mostly tech-oriented university towns, including Provo, Utah, Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C., Hartford, Conn., Albany, N.Y., and San Jose, Calif.
Brookings mapped the metro areas with the most presence of those high-risk industries as a share of the economy. Based on their data, these are the metropolitan areas that will likely be hit hardest by a COVID-19 recession. The job numbers are from 2019.