Unemployment Rate - Cuyahoga County (1990 - 2020)

Public health orders that mandated the closure of restaurants, bars and other service-based industries had a substantial impact on employment. The number of people who were unemployed in Cuyahoga County more than tripled between March and April 2020, rising from 42,596 workers to 135,639 workers.

This chart shows unemployment rate over the past 30 years in Cuyahoga County. The unemployment rate tripled between March 2020 and April 2020. Although it fell again in May, it’s still double where we were earlier in the year:

  • March 2020 = 7.2%
  • April 2020 = 22.9%
  • May 2020 = 17.9%

The previous high was 9.7% unemployed in February 2010 (just after the Great Recession officially ended).

Notice that in previous recessions, it takes a while after recession starts for unemployment to increase, typically peaking in Cuyahoga County after the recession has officially ended. The COVID unemployment jump has been historically sudden.

Percent unemployed, not seasonally adjusted. Shading indicates U.S. recessions; the most recent one is ongoing. Data Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.


U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics