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Photo: Scott Olson / Getty Images

The murder rate across 20 major U.S. cities at the end of June was 37% higher on average than in late May, the New York Times reports, citing a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

The big picture: Massive unemployment, backlogs in the courts and limited access to social services caused by COVID-19 lockdowns contributed to the spike in violence.

  • Crime overall is down in many cities, "except murder, aggravated assault and in some places, car theft," the Times notes.

By the numbers: Homicide and violent crime are up in several cities across the country.

  • Kansas City has reported 122 homicides for the year as of Tuesday, per the city's police department. Last year, the city reported 148 homicides for the entire year.
  • Chicago's police department has recorded at least 450 murders so far this year, compared to 291 for all of 2019.
  • New York City saw a 130% increase in shooting incidents from June 1 to June 30, per the NYPD.
  • In Detroit, 273 homicides were committed last year, per the police department. At least 450 homicides have been logged this year, per the city's police department data.
  • Milwaukee has seen a 24% year-to-date increase in homicides from this time last year.

What they're saying: “I’m sure there will be academic studies for years to come as to what caused the spike of 2020,” Tim Garrison, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, told the Times. “I’m sure the lockdown didn’t help. When you already have a stressed economic situation and you put a lot of folks out of work, and a lot of teenagers out of school, it’s a volatile situation.”

Go deeper

Erica Pandey, author of @Work
Oct 27, 2020 - Economy & Business

Americans are moving again

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

For decades, the share of Americans moving to new cities has been falling. The pandemic-induced rise of telework is turning that trend around.

Why it matters: This dispersion of people from big metros to smaller ones and from the coasts to the middle of the country could be a boon for dozens of left-behind cities across the U.S.

Reopening is expensive

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Emerging from pandemic lockdown is shaping up to be pricey. Traveling, eating out and even refreshing your wardrobe costs more, per April inflation data out today.

Why it matters: The economy is reopening and suddenly Americans want in on the activities they've gone a year without. The data shows how much that sudden demand has helped push prices higher — at least for now.

Colonial Pipeline restarting service after hack

Photo: Bloomberg via Getty Images

Colonial Pipeline is restarting operations around 5 p.m. ET Wednesday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm announced.

Why it matters: At least 11 states and Washington, D.C., have experienced gas shortages since a ransomware attack forced the critical pipeline running from Texas to New York to shut down on Saturday.