> 5 yr. annualized GDP growth rate through Q1 2020: -1.0% (2nd lowest)
> 5 yr. annualized employment growth rate through June 2020: -0.7% (24th highest)
> June 2020 unemployment rate: 12.5% (10th highest)
> Poverty rate: 12.5% (24th lowest)
Until 2020, and the COVID-19 recession, Delaware had steadily added jobs. June employment in the state climbed every year from 2015 to 2019. By June 2020, however, there were nearly 42,000 fewer people working in Delaware than there were the same time the previous year. Over the same one-year period, unemployment in Delaware spiked from 3.7%, in line with the national rate at the time, to 12.5%, well above the comparable 11.1% national rate.
Over the five years ending with the first quarter of 2020, Delaware’s economy contracted by 5.0%, the second largest GDP decline of any state.
47. West Virginia
> 5 yr. annualized GDP growth rate through Q1 2020: +0.4% (8th lowest)
> 5 yr. annualized employment growth rate through June 2020: -1.2% (18th lowest)
> June 2020 unemployment rate: 10.4% (18th highest)
> Poverty rate: 17.8% (4th highest)
West Virginia has the nation’s fourth highest poverty rate at 17.8%, significantly higher than the 13.1% nationwide poverty rate. The state also has the lowest median household income, at $44,097, nearly $18,000 less than the U.S. median. The state’s economy has been relatively sluggish, growing at an annualized rate of just 0.4% from 2015 to 2020, well below the nationwide 1.9% growth rate.
West Virginia consistently had one of the highest unemployment rates over the past five years, yet the state was not as harshly affected by COVID-19 as most others. Its unemployment rate increased just 3.4 percentage points, as compared to the 5.8 percentage point nationwide uptick. Still, at 10.4%, West Virginia’s unemployment rate remains higher than in most other states.
> 5 yr. annualized GDP growth rate through Q1 2020: +0.8% (11th lowest)
> 5 yr. annualized employment growth rate through June 2020: -1.7% (11th lowest)
> June 2020 unemployment rate: 8.7% (25th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 19.7% (the highest)
Mississippi’s unemployment rate of 8.7% is well below the comparable 11.1% national jobless rate. Still, despite the relatively strong job market, Mississippi is the poorest state in the country. Nearly 20% Mississippi residents live below the poverty line, compared to 13.1% of all Americans.
Economic growth has also been slow in recent years. Between the first quarter of 2015 and the first quarter in 2020, Mississippi’s economy grew by just 4.0%. Over the same period, the U.S. economy grew by 9.8%.
49. New York
> 5 yr. annualized GDP growth rate through Q1 2020: +1.0% (18th lowest)
> 5 yr. annualized employment growth rate through June 2020: -2.7% (2nd lowest)
> June 2020 unemployment rate: 15.7% (3rd highest)
> Poverty rate: 13.6% (17th highest)
Though it is home to a city widely regarded as the financial capital of the world, New York has one of the worst economies of any state, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As the primary U.S. hotspot during the early months of the outbreak, businesses were more harshly affected than in most other places. As a result the number of people working in the state fell from 9.1 million in June 2019 to fewer than 8 million a year later. The state’s unemployment rate spiked to 15.7%, the third-highest in the nation.
Even prior to the pandemic, New Yorkers faced economic challenges as the state has a relatively high poverty rate, at 13.6%. Population growth in the state between 2010 to 2019 was also relatively slow, due in large part to outward migration. Over 680,000 more people left the state than moved into it, equivalent to 3.5% of the 2010 population, the third largest migration decline among states. This outward migration can hamper economic growth and may be a key reason for the state’s low annualized GDP growth from 2015 to 2020, at roughly half of the 1.9% U.S. rate.
> 5 yr. annualized GDP growth rate through Q1 2020: +0.2% (5th lowest)
> 5 yr. annualized employment growth rate through June 2020: -2.3% (5th lowest)
> June 2020 unemployment rate: 9.7% (23rd highest)
> Poverty rate: 18.6% (3rd highest)
Louisiana’s economy ranks as the worst in the nation, largely due to the share of residents living on poverty level income. The state’s 18.6% poverty rate is third highest among states and well above the comparable 13.1% national rate. It is the third highest ranked state in terms of crime.
Though Louisiana’s unemployment rate of 9.7% is lower than the 11.1% national rate, it is higher than the jobless rate in most states. Additionally, few states have had a steeper employment decline over the last five years than Louisiana. The number of people working in the state fell by 10.9% between June 2015 and June 2020, far worse than the 2.7% national decline.
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