To determine the states most likely to be hurt by COVID-19, 24/7 Wall St. created a weighted index of four measures. The first measure, which comprises 30% of the index, is the share of total employment in industries deemed to be at high-risk of slowdown due to the coronavirus outbreak. The second measure, which comprises 20% of the index, is the number of diagnosed cases per capita as of April 27 2020. The third measure, which comprises 30% of the index, is the number of new unemployment claims made since the week ending March 21 as a share of the 2018 state labor force, from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The fourth measure, which comprises 20% of the index, is the projected unemployment rate by state for July 2020 from a report published on April 1 by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank.
The identification of high-risk industries comes from the March 2020 paper “COVID-19: A Fiscal Stimulus Plan” published by Moody’s Analytics, an economics research firm.
Data on COVID-19 cases and deaths by state came from various state and local health departments and are current as of April 27 2020. COVID-19 cases and death toll were adjusted for population using five-year estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 American Community Survey. Population density was calculated using 2010 land area estimates from the Census Bureau and one-year population estimates from the 2018 ACS.