Special Report

State Economies Most Likely to Be Crippled by COVID-19

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45. Idaho
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 16.1% of total (16th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 108,418 (12.5% of workforce — 19th lowest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 1,897 (10.8 per 10,000 people — 17th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 56 (0.3 per 10,000 people — 15th lowest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 14.0% (3rd lowest)

Idaho had fewer than 2,000 reported cases as of COVID-19 as of April 27. Even after adjusting for its relatively low population, Idaho has one of the lower number of diagnosed cases per capita among states. The state has a smaller-than-typical share of employment in industries at high risk from the crisis, and the EPI’s projected unemployment rate by july of 14.0%, while high, would be lower than all but two states.

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44. Iowa
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 14.9% of total (3rd lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 232,913 (13.6% of workforce — 25th highest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 5,868 (18.6 per 10,000 people — 17th highest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 127 (0.4 per 10,000 people — 19th lowest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 14.2% (5th lowest)

Iowa is one of only five states where fewer than 15% of workers are employed in industries that are at high risk of slowdown due to COVID-19. Starting on May 1, Iowa will begin lifting business restrictions in 77 of its 99 counties. Starting in May, restaurants, gyms, and retailers in those counties can reopen so long as they operate at 50% of their maximum occupancy.

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43. Colorado
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 18.6% of total (19th highest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 301,177 (9.7% of workforce — 6th lowest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 13,441 (23.6 per 10,000 people — 13th highest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 680 (1.2 per 10,000 people — 13th highest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 14.1% (4th lowest)

Colorado’s unemployment claims since the crisis began, while high, have been relatively low compared to most other states. It is one of just six states where the new weekly unemployment claims have represented less than 10% of the state labor force. The EPI projects that Colorado’s unemployment rate in July will be 14.1%, the fourth lowest of any state according to projections. Colorado currently has a “safer at home” advisory, which means that while residents are not ordered to stay at home, they are advised to do so.

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42. Kansas
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 15.8% of total (14th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 188,992 (12.8% of workforce — 21st lowest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 3,174 (10.9 per 10,000 people — 18th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 118 (0.4 per 10,000 people — 20th lowest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 14.7% (8th lowest)

So far, Kansas has not reported the same level of COVID-19 diagnoses as much of the rest of the country. As of late April, there have been 10.9 confirmed cases per 10,000 people, well below the national 29.4 diagnosed cases per 10,000 people.

The virus will also not likely to take as heavy an economic toll as it will in much of the rest of the country. According to the EPI, Kansas’s projected July unemployment rate will be 14.7%, lower than in the vast majority of states.

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41. Oregon
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 16.4% of total (18th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 230,022 (11.0% of workforce — 8th lowest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 2,311 (5.5 per 10,000 people — 4th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 91 (0.2 per 10,000 people — 9th lowest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 15.5% (24th highest)

Only 16.4% of workers in Oregon are employed in industries that are at high-risk of slowdown in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic — a smaller share than in the majority of states.

Oregon has been under a statewide stay-at-home order since March 23 and will coordinate the reopening of its economy with its neighbors along the Pacific Coast, California and Washington.

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