The coronavirus hit our once booming economy hard, with Grand Rapids landing among the cities in the US with the highest unemployment rates.

The financial web site WalletHub looked at several factors to determine which US cities were blasted hard by the recent CoVid-19 shutdowns, and found Grand Rapids had the fifth highest adjusted unemployment rate in the country.

With certain businesses reopening all across the country in an effort to reverse some of the nearly 41 million job losses caused by the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub today released updated rankings for the Cities with the Biggest Increases in Unemployment Rates Due to COVID-19, as a follow-up to our report on the States Hit Most by Unemployment Claims, along with accompanying videos.

This report uses new data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which recently disclosed that it erroneously didn’t count many workers on temporary layoffs as unemployed. Therefore, the real unemployment rate may be around 33 percent higher than reported, and our report includes both the official rate and an “adjusted” rate based on this error.

Increase in Grand Rapids Unemployment Due to Coronavirus (1=Biggest, 90=Avg.):

  • 690.00% Increase in Unemployment (April 2020 vs April 2019)
    • 27,966 unemployed people in April 2020 vs 3,540 in April 2019;
    • 4th highest increase in the U.S.
  • 607.64% Increase in Unemployment (April 2020 vs January 2020)
    • 27,966 unemployed people in April 2020 vs 3,952 in January 2020;
    • 7th highest increase in the U.S.
  • 27.10% Official Unemployment Rate (April 2020) (Adjusted Rate*: 36.04%)
    • 5th highest unemployment rate in the U.S.

Other cities that were hit hard included Las Vegas and two of its suburbs, and Detroit.

When asked "What can those that are newly unemployed be doing right now?" The WalletHub expert Tuanva Rua responded:

I think one of the things that newly unemployed individuals can do is to increase their skill sets and credentials during this time. This doesn't necessarily have to cost anything. Individuals who have access to the internet can complete online certification programs in coding, digital marketing, data analytics, etc. on various platforms or completely free online courses from various universities that they can list on their resumes, which can make them more desirable candidates as they are applying for new positions.