What a difference a year makes! In April 2019, official unemployment rates for the nine Coachella Valley cities were at historic lows. Confidence in the economy was high and an ever more prosperous future seemed probable. Ignorance is bliss. How could we ever have imagined that unemployment rates would nearly triple, in just one year?
In February, we looked at year-end 2020 unemployment rates and things were starting to look up. But wide-ranging pandemic restrictions were still in place. And we didn’t know there would be another deadly surge in early 2021.
Things are definitely looking better in May 2021. The Desert Sun reports that over half of Coachella Valley residents aged 12 and older have been fully vaccinated, outperforming Riverside County and the state.
Desert Hot Springs saw the most severe rise in unemployment from 2019 to 2020, a 19.1 point rise. Rancho Mirage saw the smallest rise at 8.8 points. Cathedral City has seen the greatest recovery from 2020 with a 13.8 point drop from its 17.4% high. Rancho Mirage, with consistently lower unemployment throughout the period, saw the smallest recovery at 5.5 points.
Source: California EDD