Ranking Metros at Risk for COVID-19 Job Losses

Source: Brookings Institution

Virginia’s metropolitan areas are somewhat less exposed than other metros to the risk of job losses stemming from the COVID-19 epidemic, according to a new report by the Brookings Institution.

The Hampton Roads metro, home to substantial travel-and-tourism businesses in Virginia Beach and Williamsburg, is the most vulnerable with 16.5% of jobs in what Brookings defines as “high-risk industries.” Those disruption-prone industries include mining/oil & gas, transportation, employment services, travel arrangements, and leisure and hospitality. The least vulnerable Virginia metro was Winchester, with only 13.2% of jobs in high-risk industries.

Nationally, the percentage of jobs in high-risk industries ranges from a low of 9.1% in Madera, Calif., to 42.5% in Midland, Texas. Here’s a breakdown of Virginia metros:

Hampton Roads –16.5% — ranked 136th most vulnerable of 384 metros.
Harrisonburg — 15.8% — ranked 169th.
Metro halfway mark — 192
Bristol/Kingsport — 15.4% — ranked 194th.
Charlottesville — 15.1% — ranked 214th.
Richmond — 15.0% — ranked 224th.
Roanoke — 14.9% — ranked 234th.
Blacksburg — 14.5% — ranked 259th.
Lynchburg — 14.2% — ranked 281st.
Staunton — 14.2% — ranked 282nd.
Washington/Arlington — 13.3% — ranked 317th.
Winchester — 13.2% — ranked 323rd.

— JAB

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8 responses to “Ranking Metros at Risk for COVID-19 Job Losses

  1. Washington/Arlington the same as Winchester and less than other Virginia Metros???? Odd.

  2. In this particular environment, Virginia also is advantaged in that we have a relatively high concentration of jobs tied to the federal government, as well as a relatively high concentration of jobs that can be performed remotely (e.g., more professional services jobs and fewer manufacturing jobs than other states).

  3. With a population that is much more likely to have traveled abroad than those in other parts of the state, I would have expected NoVa to have had a significant portion of the state’s cases, but that has not been the experience so far.

    • It’s hard to gauge the actual number of cases by geography without knowing the intensity of the testing. I’m watching New York City closely. A week ago New York’s mayor saw too few cases to justify closing the largest public school district in the US. Then came the cases. Then came more testing. The schools closed. More cases. More testing. Now it’s a full blown mess. My guess is that it was a full blown mess quite some time ago. I’m thinking the same is true in NoVa. On Wednesday in Northern Virginia I saw public parks packed with cars as people cavorted on their “days off”. Yikes. NoVa’s day is going to come I’m afraid.

      • De Blasio was on CNN this morning bragging about the excellent job of reacting that he did shutting down the City. He also advised all of us minions that FDR told the Nation after Pearl Harbor “The only think we have to fear is fear itself.” He was also complaining that Trump hasn’t mobilized the Army but didn’t mention that Cuomo hasn’t called up the National Guard yet.

        Needless to say the MSM just sat there smiling. What a bunch of two-bit hacks.

  4. I thought the same – Washington is certainly has to be a more “traveled” place than Lynchburg and Winchester, etc.

    In terms of USA cities with “international” travel though – Washington ranks about 10th:

    busiest US airports by international passenger traffic (2018)

    John F. Kennedy International Airport 33,090,297
    Los Angeles International Airport 25,703,543
    Miami International Airport 20,262,416
    San Francisco International Airport 13,838,457
    Newark Liberty International Airport 13,586,434
    O’Hare International Airport 13,317,224
    Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport 12,226,580
    George Bush Intercontinental Airport 10,350,838
    Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport 8,308,311
    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 8,281,727
    Washington Dulles International Airport 7,722,414
    General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport 7,087,235

    If you break it down to a daily basis, it’s more than 20,000 per day for Washington.

    For the top airport – John F Kennedy in NY, it’s 94,000,000.

    I cannot imagine what a place like Lynchburg or Winchester would look like if 20,000 people a day showed up from elsewhere.

  5. In the human era before international air travel, there were pandemics, but they moved differently and often by soldiers at war:

    430 B.C.: Athens
    The earliest recorded pandemic happened during the Peloponnesian War. After the disease passed through Libya, Ethiopia and Egypt, it crossed the Athenian walls as the Spartans laid siege. As much as two-thirds of the population died.

    The symptoms included fever, thirst, bloody throat and tongue, red skin and lesions. The disease, suspected to have been typhoid fever, weakened the Athenians significantly and was a significant factor in their defeat by the Spartans.

    165 A.D.: Antonine Plague
    The Antonine plague was possibly an early appearance of smallpox that began with the Huns. The Huns then infected the Germans, who passed it to the Romans and then returning troops spread it throughout the Roman empire. Symptoms included fever, sore throat, diarrhea and, if the patient lived long enough, pus-filled sores. This plague continued until about 180 A.D., claiming Emperor Marcus Aurelius as one of its victims.

    250 A.D.: Cyprian Plague
    Named after the first known victim, the Christian bishop of Carthage, the Cyprian plague entailed diarrhea, vomiting, throat ulcers, fever and gangrenous hands and feet.

    City dwellers fled to the country to escape infection but instead spread the disease further. Possibly starting in Ethiopia, it passed through Northern Africa, into Rome, then onto Egypt and northward.

    There were recurring outbreaks over the next three centuries. In 444 A.D., it hit Britain and obstructed defense efforts against the Picts and the Scots, causing the British to seek help from the Saxons, who would soon control the island.

    541 A.D.: Justinian Plague
    First appearing in Egypt, the Justinian plague spread through Palestine and the Byzantine Empire, and then throughout the Mediterranean.

    The plague changed the course of the empire, squelching Emperor Justinian’s plans to bring the Roman Empire back together and causing massive economic struggle. It is also credited with creating an apocalyptic atmosphere that spurred the rapid spread of Christianity.

    Recurrences over the next two centuries eventually killed about 50 million people, 26 percent of the world population. It is believed to be the first significant appearance of the bubonic plague, which features enlarged lymphatic gland and is carried by rats and spread by fleas.

    11th Century: Leprosy
    Though it had been around for ages, leprosy grew into a pandemic in Europe in the Middle Ages, resulting in the building of numerous leprosy-focused hospitals to accommodate the vast number of victims.

    A slow-developing bacterial disease that causes sores and deformities, leprosy was believed to be a punishment from God that ran in families. This belief led to moral judgments and ostracization of victims. Now known as Hansen’s disease, it still afflicts tens of thousands of people a year and can be fatal if not treated with antibiotics.

    Pandemics are a natural condition.

    We, obviously, are more concerned with human infections, but the rest of the animal world also suffers from similar infectious diseases and sometimes it hops from the animal kingdom to humans.

    We’ve certainly made progress against it but clearly we are still vulnerable to it.

    But I’ve never seen one this severe where we’re close to martial law in places to keep people from moving around and spreading it.

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