Special Report

State Economies Most Likely to Be Crippled by COVID-19

With more than 1.8 million people infected nationwide and over 100,000 dead, COVID-19 is a public health crisis of proportions not seen in the United States in over a century. The economic fallout in the wake of the virus is equally historic as over the course of only two months, the official unemployment rate spiked from a multi-decade low to its highest level since the Great Depression.

In the face of the pandemic, state and local governments across the country have implemented stay-at-home orders and ordered the closure of nonessential businesses. Here is a look at every state’s rules for staying at home and social distancing.

These efforts, while successful in reducing the spread of the coronavirus, have also had catastrophic economic effects. According to analysis by Moody’s Analytics, an economics research firm, the industries hit hardest by COVID-19 and efforts to contain it include leisure and hospitality, travel services, transportation and warehousing, and oil and gas extraction.

24/7 Wall St. created an index of the pandemic’s ongoing impact on each state’s economy, taking into account the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 state residents, the share of employment in industries deemed high risk by Moody’s, cumulative unemployment claims since mid-March, and the official state April unemployment rate.

The official U.S. unemployment rate stands at 14.7%. Across all states, the rate varies considerably, from 7.9% in Connecticut, a state where relatively few workers are employed in industries impacted by the virus, to 28.2% in Nevada, where stay-at-home orders crippled the state’s tourism industry.

While April jobless rates are high nationwide, they will likely only continue to worsen. In May alone, more than 8 million more Americans filed for unemployment. All told, the number of unemployment claims filed since mid-March as a share of the total work force is far higher than the official unemployment rate indicates. Here is a look at every state’s unemployment claims since COVID-19 shut down the economy.

Click here to see the state economies most likely to be crippled by COVID-19.
Click here to see our methodology.