Special Report

State Economies Most Likely to Be Crippled by COVID-19

45. Missouri
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 16.6% of total (19th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 585,931 (19.1% of workforce — 19th lowest)
> COVID cases as of June 1, 2020: 13,327 (218 per 100,000 people — 11th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of June 1, 2020: 773 (13 per 100,000 people — 25th lowest)
> April unemployment rate: 9.7% (7th lowest)

Missouri is one of only eight states with an April unemployment rate below 10%. The lower than average unemployment may be due in part to the state’s workforce composition, as a larger than typical share of workers in Missouri are employed in industries that will likely be more resilient to slowdown in the wake of the pandemic.

The virus itself has not been especially widespread in the state. Missouri had fewer than 218 confirmed cases of the virus for every 100,000 people, well below the nationwide rate of 547 cases per 100,000.

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44. Maine
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 15.1% of total (8th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 144,075 (21.1% of workforce — 23rd highest)
> COVID cases as of June 1, 2020: 2,349 (176 per 100,000 people — 10th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of June 1, 2020: 89 (7 per 100,000 people — 12th lowest)
> April unemployment rate: 10.6% (13th lowest)

Maine is the only Northeastern state to rank among the 10 states with economies likely to be most resilient in the wake of the pandemic. Workers in Maine are more likely to be employed in industries at low- or moderate-risk of slowdown due to the coronavirus, and partially as a result, unemployment in the state stands at 10.6%. Nationwide, 14.7% of the labor force is out of a job.

Despite the relatively limited economic fallout in Maine, state residents are far more likely than most Americans to be pessimistic about their own finances and the overall health of American business. The consumer confidence index in Maine is the fifth lowest among states.

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43. Kansas
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 15.8% of total (14th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 264,520 (17.9% of workforce — 16th lowest)
> COVID cases as of June 1, 2020: 9,719 (334 per 100,000 people — 25th lowest)
> COVID deaths as of June 1, 2020: 208 (7 per 100,000 people — 14th lowest)
> April unemployment rate: 11.2% (14th lowest)

Kansas has not reported the same level of COVID-19 diagnoses as much of the rest of the country. As of June 1, there have been 334 confirmed cases per 100,000 people in the state, well below the national concentration of 547 diagnosed cases per 100,000 people.

So far, the virus has also not taken as heavy an economic toll as it did in much of the rest of the country. Unemployment in Kansas stands at 11.2% — well below the 14.7% national unemployment rate.

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42. Minnesota
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 14.9% of total (4th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 688,398 (22.3% of workforce — 21st highest)
> COVID cases as of June 1, 2020: 25,208 (449 per 100,000 people — 20th highest)
> COVID deaths as of June 1, 2020: 1,050 (19 per 100,000 people — 17th highest)
> April unemployment rate: 8.1% (2nd lowest)

Only 14.9% of workers in Minnesota are employed in industries that are at high risk of slowdown due to efforts to contain the virus, a smaller share than in all but three other states. Partially as a result, the unemployment crisis is not nearly as bad in Minnesota as it is nearly everywhere else. The state’s 8.1% unemployment rate is second lowest in the country and well below the 14.7% national rate.

Minnesota is also in a better place financially than most states to weather a decline in revenue (because of lower taxes paid and other reasons) in the wake of the virus. The state’s rainy day fund balance accounts for 10.8% of its annual expenditures, a larger share than most states.

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41. Virginia
> Workforce in high-risk industries: 15.7% of total (13th lowest)
> Unemployment claims since mid-March: 782,697 (17.9% of workforce — 15th lowest)
> COVID cases as of June 1, 2020: 45,398 (533 per 100,000 people — 15th highest)
> COVID deaths as of June 1, 2020: 1,392 (16 per 100,000 people — 21st highest)
> April unemployment rate: 10.6% (13th lowest)

A relatively small share of workers in Virginia are employed in industries that are particularly vulnerable to slowdown in the wake of the measures taken to slow down the spread of the coronavirus.

Due to the relatively low number of infections in the state and relatively favorable employment composition, Virginia’s economy will not likely be hit as hard as many other parts of the country by the coronavirus. Unemployment in the state stands at 10.6%, well below the 14.7% national rate.

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