Numbers released Wednesday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show Atlantic County had the highest unemployment in the country in the second quarter of 2020.

The statistics for counties across the country has Atlantic County in first place for the largest year-over-year job loss at 34.2 percent of the workforce. The grim stats from the government confirm something we already knew locally.

The largest employment decrease by job category came in leisure and hospitality jobs, which lost a startling 33,336 jobs. That amounts to 75.2% of all those jobs in Atlantic County.

Atlantic City's casinos were closed from March 18 to July 2 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wednesday's numbers from the Labor Department also show that Atlantic County had the largest year-over-year percentage increase in average weekly wages for the second quarter 2020, an average weekly wage gain of $143 or +24.2 percent for the leisure and hospitality jobs that remained.

From June 2019 to June 2020, employment decreased in all of the 357 largest U.S. counties, according to the report. In June 2020, national employment decreased to 135.1 million, a 9.4-percent decrease over the year.

An earlier study by the Brookings Institute said the metro area from Atlantic City to Hammonton — essentially the whole of Atlantic County — was the nation’s third most at risk for job loss due to COVID-19.

The top at-risk area was energy-dependent Midland, Texas, followed by tourism-dependent Kahului, Hawaii. Las Vegas was fourth, followed by Odessa, Texas, another energy area.

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Brookings Institute

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