Report: Jacksonville Workforce No. 6 Hardest Hit By COVID-19

Apr 30, 2020
Originally published on April 30, 2020 9:31 am

A new report by an ecommerce software company asserts the workforces in Jacksonville and Florida are among the hardest hit in the country by COVID-19.

Using U.S. Census data, Volusion determined Jacksonville’s workforce is the 6th most affected among large U.S. metropolitan areas.

Volusion came up with the ranking by looking at the hardest hit industries, which include the retail, leisure and hospitality sectors.

In Jacksonville:

  • Share of employment in retail, leisure & hospitality: 23.3%
  • Total retail workers: 82,000
  • Total leisure & hospitality workers: 86,800
  • Cost of living: 4.6% below average
  • Percent below the poverty level: 12.2%

Florida faired even worse in the rankings, at the No. 3 state in the country, with more than a quarter of the state’s workforce tied to the hardest hit industries:

  • Share of employment in retail, leisure and hospitality: 26.4%
  • Total retail workers: 1,109,100
  • Total leisure and hospitality workers: 1,255,200
  • Cost of living: 0.1% below average
  • Percent below the poverty level: 13.6%

By comparison, 21.3% of the nation’s workforce is employed in retail, leisure and hospitality, with 13.1% living below the poverty level.

Related: Local, State, And National Coronavirus Coverage

Three other Florida metro areas also made the top 10 list of the large metro areas hardest hit:

7. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater

  • Share of employment in retail, leisure & hospitality: 23.2%
  • Total retail workers: 158,400
  • Total leisure & hospitality workers: 163,200
  • Cost of living: 1.1% below average
  • Percent below the poverty level: 13.4%

4. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach

  • Share of employment in retail, leisure & hospitality: 24.6%
  • Total retail workers: 335,700
  • Total leisure & hospitality workers: 332,900
  • Cost of living: 8.4% above average
  • Percent below the poverty level: 14.0%

2. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford

  • Share of employment in retail, leisure & hospitality: 32.1%
  • Total retail workers: 150,600
  • Total leisure & hospitality workers: 275,800
  • Cost of living: 1.7% below average
  • Percent below the poverty level: 13.9%

Las Vegas was the No. 1 most vulnerable city listed, with 39% of its workforce depending on employment in retail, leisure and hospitality.

Nevada and Hawaii lead the nation in the share of employment in retail, leisure and hospitality, at 35.5% and 30.1%, respectively.

Kansas and Minnesota came in at the low end, with both states having about 19% of their workforces employed in those sectors.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.

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