Special Report

The Places a COVID-19 Recession Will Likely Hit Hardest

There have been over 350,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and more than 10,000 related deaths in the United States to date. To slow the spread of the novel coronavirus and save lives, more than 311 million people nationwide are being urged or ordered by their state or local government to stay at home. While public health is the top national priority, the measures taken to fight the virus have come at a steep cost, as much of the economy has effectively ground to a halt. 

As more states and municipalities have been issuing stay-at-home directives, a record 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment over the last two weeks. The unemployment rate jumped from a historic low of 3.5% in February to 4.4% in March — and some experts predict it now stands at around 13%

While every American will feel the effects of the economic downturn to some degree, certain industries are expected to bear the brunt of the decline. According to analysis by Moody’s Analytics, these industries include leisure and hospitality, travel services, transportation and warehousing, and oil and gas extraction. Here is an in-depth look at the U.S. industries being devastated by the coronavirus. In some parts of the country, these industries are economic pillars.

To identify the places a COVID-19 recession will likely hit hardest, 24/7 Wall St. created an index comprising three measures: employment in highly-exposed industries, COVID-19 infection rates, and population density. We only considered counties that lie within metropolitan areas. 

In an attempt to lessen the impact of containing the coronavirus, President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion economic stimulus bill. The bill, which will provide financial relief for families and businesses, has also calmed some investors after a historic sell-off on Wall Street. Here is how the current stock market collapse compares with others in history. Still, the economic devastation wrought by the efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus will likely be felt long after the pandemic ends. 

Click here to see the places a COVID-19 recession will likely hit hardest
Click here to read our methodology