Special Report

COVID-19 Has Wrecked Consumer Confidence in All 50 States

Samuel Stebbins, Grant Suneson

45. Oklahoma
> Chg. in consumer confidence from March 1 to May 15: -22.8% (118.9 to 91.8)
> Pct. of workers in high-risk industries: 19.9% (7th highest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 434,326 (23.7% of workforce – 13th highest)
> Chg. in avg. time spent at home: 10.0% more than normal
> COVID-19 cases as of May 18, 2020: 134.7 per 100,000 people — 8th lowest (total: 5,310)

Since the coronavirus began spreading in the United States, consumer confidence has not suffered as much in Oklahoma as it has in most other states. Currently, the index stands at 91.8 in the state — higher than in all but seven other states and well above the national index score of 86.3 points.

The relative optimism in the state comes despite abysmal economic news in recent weeks. Oklahoma has relatively high employment in industries highly exposed to slowdown in the wake of the pandemic, and since March 15, more than 400,000 state residents have filed for unemployment — equal to nearly one-quarter of the total workforce.

44. Alabama
> Chg. in consumer confidence from March 1 to May 15: -22.9% (128.1 to 98.8)
> Pct. of workers in high-risk industries: 16.8% (21st lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 496,706 (22.1% of workforce – 18th highest)
> Chg. in avg. time spent at home: 10.0% more than normal
> COVID-19 cases as of May 18, 2020: 247.3 per 100,000 people — 25th lowest (total: 12,086)

In the early days of the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States around the beginning of March, Alabama had the highest consumer confidence of any state. Although consumer confidence among Alabama residents tumbled by 22.9% since March 1, the decline was smaller than in most states, and Alabama still has the highest consumer confidence score of any state, at 98.8. Nationwide, the consumer confidence index stands at 86.3 points.

Alabama’s stay-at-home order, which started on April 4 and expired on April 30, was one of the shortest among states.

Source: John Moore / Getty Images News via Getty Images

43. Washington
> Chg. in consumer confidence from March 1 to May 15: -23.3% (107.4 to 82.4)
> Pct. of workers in high-risk industries: 15.0% (5th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 1.2 million (31.3% of workforce – 4th highest)
> Chg. in avg. time spent at home: 17.0% more than normal
> COVID-19 cases as of May 18, 2020: 244.6 per 100,000 people — 24th lowest (total: 18,433)

Consumer confidence in Washington state has fallen considerably since March 1, but not as much as in most states. The relatively modest 23.3% decline in consumer confidence came despite widespread layoffs in the wake of the pandemic. Since March 15, 1.2 million people in the state have filed for unemployment, or more than 31% of the total workforce.

Though Washington had the first known case of COVID-19 in the United States, the state was quick to implement a stay-at-home order and other restrictions. It is possible that partially as a result the virus did not spread as much in Washington as it did nationwide. As of May 18, there had been only 245 confirmed cases of COVID-19 for every 100,000 state residents, well below the national infection concentration of 454 per 100,000.

Source: Photo by William Campbell / Getty Images News via Getty Images

42. Montana
> Chg. in consumer confidence from March 1 to May 15: -23.6% (115.1 to 87.9)
> Pct. of workers in high-risk industries: 19.4% (14th highest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 100,934 (19.2% of workforce – 25th lowest)
> Chg. in avg. time spent at home: 9.0% more than normal
> COVID-19 cases as of May 18, 2020: 44.2 per 100,000 people — the lowest (total: 470)

Montana residents have not lost as much confidence in their financial situation or the broader U.S. economy in both the present and the future as most other Americans. Consumer confidence declined in the state by 23.6% between March 1 and May 15.

Montana is one of the least densely populated states in the country and has been largely spared from the worst effects of COVID-19. There have been just 44 known infections in the state for every 100,000 people, less than in every other state and well below the 454 known cases per 100,000 people nationwide as of May 18, 2020.

Source: Chris Graythen / Getty Images News via Getty Images

41. Louisiana
> Chg. in consumer confidence from March 1 to May 15: -23.8% (125.4 to 95.6)
> Pct. of workers in high-risk industries: 19.5% (12th highest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 628,201 (30.2% of workforce – 5th highest)
> Chg. in avg. time spent at home: 12.0% more than normal
> COVID-19 cases as of May 18, 2020: 744.8 per 100,000 people — 8th highest (total: 34,709)

Louisiana has been among the hardest hit states by COVID-19 — both economically and in terms of infections. More than 30% of the state’s workforce have filed for unemployment since March 15, a larger share than in all but four other states. Additionally, there have been 745 known COVID-19 cases for every 100,000 people in the state, well above the nationwide rate of 454 known cases per 100,000 people as of May 18, 2020.

Still, though consumer confidence has taken a major hit in the state — declining by 23.8% since the outbreak began — the drop has not been as precipitous as in much of the rest of the country. And as is the case in most states, consumer confidence is inching back up in Louisiana as restrictions ease. On May 1, the state’s consumer confidence index stood at 93.3, 2.3 points lower than now.