The novel coronavirus has infected nearly 1.4 million people and claimed more than 84,000 lives in the United States alone. The scope of the public health crisis posed by COVID-19 is matched perhaps only by its economic impact. Since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in mid-March, more than 33 million people have filed unemployment claims.
The staggering number of jobless claims filed every week in the United States has pushed the monthly unemployment rate to 14.7% — a level not seen since the Great Depression. In the latest weekly round of layoffs, another 2.6 million Americans filed for unemployment.
As unemployment claims have continued to surge by the millions with each passing week, 24/7 Wall St. has been compiling a state-by-state review of jobless claims. Job losses by state range from the tens of thousands to the millions over the eight weeks beginning on March 15, amounting to anywhere from 9% to 36% of each state’s total workforce before the pandemic hit.
The current economic downturn is largely attributable to efforts to contain the spread of the virus. Officials across the country have heeded advice from health experts and instituted a range of measures to facilitate social distancing, from shelter-in-place orders to closing nonessential businesses. Many of those states are beginning to partially reopen their economies, or are planning to do so soon. Here’s when every state plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions.
The places where unemployment rates are projected to be the highest in the coming months tend to be those that rely on industries that will likely bear the brunt of the current economic downturn. These industries include leisure and hospitality, travel services, transportation and warehousing, and oil and gas extraction. These industries are the economic backbone of cities across the country. Here is a look at the places a COVID-19 recession will likely hit hardest.