Brookings Mountain West
Las Vegas (Nev.)
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As the United States prepares for a COVID-19 recovery, policymakers need to understand why some cities and communities were more vulnerable to the pandemic’s economic consequences than others. In this paper, we consider the association between a city’s core industry, its economic susceptibility to the pandemic, and the recession’s racially disparate impact across six select metropolitan areas. We find that areas with economies that rely on the movement of people—like Las Vegas with tourism—faced substantially higher unemployment at the end of 2020 than cities with core industries based on the movement of information. Further, we find the hardest-hit areas have larger Hispanic or Latino communities, reflecting both the demographic composition of workers in heavily impacted industries, and the geography of urban areas their core industries. We conclude by recommending targeted federal policy to address the regions and communities most impacted by the COVID-19 recession.
Las Vegas; Core Industries; Hispanic Workforce; COVID-19; Unemployment
Economic Policy | Hospitality Administration and Management | Public Policy | Race and Ethnicity
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Explaining the Economic Impact of COVID-19: Core Industries and the Hispanic Workforce.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/brookings_policybriefs_reports/2