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Study: DMV area experiencing below-average impact during coronavirus pandemic

A study by Volusion shows the DMV area is experiencing a below-average impact during the pandemic, ranking 49th among large metro areas.

WASHINGTON — About 26 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last five weeks. That’s just a piece of the overall economic pain from the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, a new study highlights the struggles of retail workers in the U.S. workforce.

A new study by Volusion, an Austin, Texas company, says the coronavirus crisis disproportionately affects the 21.3 percent of American workers in retail, leisure, and hospitality. It highlights lack of work and long-standing, below-average wages.

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In the DMV, 608,100 workers are impacted by the coronavirus. That accounts for 18 percent of the retail, leisure, and hospitality workforce in this area.

This research was based on data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the U.S. Census Bureau. It also looked at the cost of living and the percent of residents below the poverty level.

For the DMV, cost of living was cited as 18.4 percent above the average, while 7.6 percent of residents are below the poverty level.

Based on these numbers, the study says the Washington-area is experiencing a below-average impact during the pandemic, ranking 49th among large metro areas.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to an unprecedented economic shutdown as thousands of "nonessential" businesses have closed their doors. The crisis disproportionately affects the 21.3% of American workers in retail, leisure, and hospitality who not only face lack of work, but also suffer from long-standing, below-average wages.

By comparison, Las Vegas was the top-ranked metro area, the study says.

However, the relatively low ranking for these type of workers in our area shouldn't take away from the widespread economic hardship the country is facing, especially when considering the damage this pandemic will have on certain retailers and workers long-term.

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