Special Report

State Economies Most Likely to Be Crippled by COVID-19

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

35. Missouri
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 16.6% of total (19th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 392,799 (12.8% of workforce — 24th lowest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 6,997 (11.4 per 10,000 people — 20th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 274 (0.4 per 10,000 people — 23rd lowest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 15.7% (17th highest)

Compared to the average nationwide, relatively fewer workers in Missouri are employed in industries most vulnerable to the economic impact of the coronavirus, including mining, transportation, and leisure and hospitality. Of states that issued stay-at-home orders, Missouri was one of the last states to do so. The order took effect on April 6 and remains in effect through at least May 3. Gov. Mike Parson has released a plan to reopen the state on May 4.

See all stories featuring: Coronavirus in Missouri

Source: Allard1 / Getty Images

34. Alabama
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 16.8% of total (21st lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 341,561 (15.2% of workforce — 18th highest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 6,467 (13.2 per 10,000 people — 24th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 219 (0.4 per 10,000 people — 24th lowest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 14.5% (6th lowest)

A relatively high 37% of Alabama’s employment is in industries that are at moderate risk for the worst economic repercussions of COVID-19 and the social distancing measures taken to contain the spread of virus, including closure of nonessential businesses. The closures include the state’s substantial manufacturing sector, which accounts for 13.6% of state employment, the fifth largest share of any state. Gov. Kay Ivey announced on April 28 plans to partially reopen the state to businesses, with the new “safer at home” policy set to go into effect on April 30.

See all stories featuring: Coronavirus in Alabama

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

33. Maine
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 15.1% of total (8th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 101,073 (14.8% of workforce — 21st highest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 1,023 (7.6 per 10,000 people — 8th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 51 (0.4 per 10,000 people — 17th lowest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 15.7% (17th highest)

A relatively low 15.1% of Maine’s employment is in industries with the highest level of vulnerability to the economic effects of COVID-19, including industries such as mining and transportation and warehousing. While the state has a substantial share of employment in leisure and hospitality, another high-risk industry.

The state has also had one of the lowest infection counts per capita of any state, with just 7.6 cases reported per 10,000 residents as of April 27, nearly one-fourth the national figure of 29.4 cases per 10,000 people.

See all stories featuring: Coronavirus in Maine

Source: Davel5957 / Getty Images

32. Oklahoma
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 19.9% of total (7th highest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 224,982 (12.3% of workforce — 18th lowest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 3,253 (8.2 per 10,000 people — 9th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 195 (0.5 per 10,000 people — 23rd highest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 14.7% (8th lowest)

Almost 20% of Oklahoma’s workforce is in a high-risk industry, one of the higher shares of any state. Notably, the state’s substantial oil sector is at risk after the price of crude oil plummeted into negative territory in mid-April and a number of oil and gas operations around the country have announced they could be facing bankruptcy. Gov. Kevin Stitt on April 27 publicly called on President Donald Trump to declare the ongoing COVID-19 crisis an “act of God,” which would protect struggling companies from losing their leases.

See all stories featuring: Coronavirus in Oklahoma

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

31. Connecticut
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 14.2% of total (the lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 228,598 (12.1% of workforce — 17th lowest)
> COVID cases as of April 27, 2020: 25,269 (70.7 per 10,000 people — 5th highest)
> COVID deaths as of April 27, 2020: 1,924 (5.4 per 10,000 people — 3rd highest)
> Projected unemployment rate, July 2020: 14.8% (10th lowest)

Only 14.2% of workers in Connecticut are employed in industries expected to bear the brunt of the economic downturn brought on by measures taken to contain the pandemic, the smallest share of any state. Partially as a result, Connecticut’s projected July unemployment rate of 14.8% is lower than the projected rate of most other states.

Connecticut is a densely-populated state, and despite having been one of the first states to close nonessential businesses and issue a stay-at-home order, it has one of the highest COVID-19 infection counts per capita. There have been 70.7 confirmed cases for every 10,000 people, more than double the national infection rate of 29.4 per 10,000.

See all stories featuring: Coronavirus in Connecticut