Small Markets that Have Not Recovered from COVID-Era Job Losses

  in   Insights

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nation’s job market took a big hit. While all areas of the country where impacted, some were hit harder than others. As of April 2024, the nation at large had grown total employment nearly 5% since February 2020, based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, not all markets have totally recovered all the jobs lost during the downturn. Nine of the largest 50 apartment markets across the country have failed to get back to the employment levels recorded prior to the pandemic, while 12 of the nation’s 100 secondary markets have yet to recoup all the jobs lost. Among those secondary markets, total employment in New Orleans sits nearly 24,800 jobs below the pre-pandemic employment level, marking the most severe deficit among those smaller markets and translating to a job base that is 4.2% below the pre-COVID norm. Among the nation’s larger markets, only Los Angeles (-43,600 jobs) and San Francisco (-43,100 jobs) have deeper holes to fill than New Orleans as of April. And on a percentage basis, New Orleans also had the worst outcome nationally. Urban Honolulu is another small market that is struggling to regain jobs lost during the pandemic. That market is 16,100 jobs below its pre-pandemic employment level, the fourth-worst result nationally. Urban Honolulu’s relative job deficit of 3.4% was the nation’s second-weakest performance.