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These Cities Have the Most Economic Struggles During COVID-19

As businesses across the country are reopening and unemployment rates begin to creep back up, there is no doubt that there are still plenty of people struggling. The coronavirus pandemic has taken a massive financial toll on Americans, but some cities have been hit harder than others. 

A recent report from WalletHub breaks down which cities have faced the most economic struggles during COVID-19. The report analyzes the country’s 100 biggest cities using nine metrics across six categories. Each city received an overall score based on these six categories: “Credit Score”, “People with Accounts in Distress,” “Average Number of Accounts in Distress,” “Change in Number of Bankruptcy Filings (June 2020 vs. June 2019),” “‘Debt’ Search Interest Index,” and “‘Loans Search Interest Index.”

An account in distress is “one which either is in forbearance or has its payments deferred,” according to WalletHub’s definition. The following cities received the highest rankings of financial difficulties during COVID-19.

  1. Las Vegas

Vegas ranked highest overall as the city with the most financial distress in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. It was tied with three other cities for the highest change in the share of people with accounts in distress from January 2020 to September 2020. It also tied with five other cities for the highest change in the average number of accounts in distress from January to September. Las Vegas ranked in fifth place for people in financial distress and seventh place for search interest for loans.

      2. Chicago

Chicago had the second-highest overall score. It tied in first place for search interest for “debt” and also tied in first place for search interest in “loans.”

      3. Houston

Like Chicago, Houston tied for search interest for “debt” and for search interest in “loans.” Houston also had a moderately high ranking for a decrease in credit score. However, it also was one of the cities with the lowest change in the share of people with accounts distress from January to September 2020.

      4. San Antonio, TX

This Texas city ranked fourth overall for a high decrease in credit score and ranked 12 for the “People in Financial Distress” category. It tied with Chicago and Houston for first place in search interest for loans.

      5. Dallas

Dallas was yet another city to tie for first place in search interest for loans. It also tied for fifth place in search interest for debt and ranked moderately high for an increase in bankruptcy filings.

      6. Phoenix

This Arizona city tied with Dallas for fifth place in search interest for debt. It also ranked as number eight in search interest for loans.

      7. Los Angeles

LA tied with Chicago and Houston for first place in search interest for debt as well as first place in search interest for loans. The City of Angels received an overall score of 65.33 for financial distress.

      8. Austin

The Texas capital city ranked number one for most people in financial distress. It also ranked in the top ten cities with the most average number of accounts in distress and the highest increase in bankruptcy filings. Austin came in second place for the highest change in the share of people with accounts in distress from January to September. Four cities, including Las Vegas, were tied for first place.

      9. Miami

Miami was the fifth city for the most search interest for debt--a tie with Dallas and Phoenix. It also tied for eighth place in search interest for loans. It was the second city with the lowest change in credit score from January to September of this year.

      10. Fort Worth, TX

Finally, the fifth Texas city to make it to the list is Fort Worth, which tied with Miami and Phoenix for eighth place in search interest for loans. Fort Worth also ranked moderately high in the average number of accounts in distress and people in financial distress.

About Author: Cristin Espinosa

Cristin Espinosa is a reporter for DS News and MReport. She graduated from Southern Methodist University where she worked as an editor and later as a digital media producer for The Daily Campus. She has a broadcast background as well, serving as a producer for SMU-TV. She wrote for the food section during her fellowship at The Dallas Morning News and has also contributed to Advocate Magazine and The Dallas Observer.
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