Special Report

State Economies Hit Hardest by COVID-19

Economic output in the United States fell for the first time in over a decade in the first quarter of 2020. The following quarter, GDP declined by 9.5% — by far the largest contraction in over 70 years. Though the U.S. economy rebounded in the third quarter of 2020, GDP is still well below what it was a year and a half ago — and in some states, the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic has been far worse. 

Using GDP data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, 24/7 Wall St. determined how each state economy was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. States are ranked by percent change in GDP from Q3 2019 to Q3 2020. Over that period, the U.S. economy contracted by 2.8% and only three states reported economic growth. 

The states that reported the worst economic collapses over the past year tend to be those that rely heavily on industries that were hit especially hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. These industries include oil and gas extraction — which was slammed by falling commodity prices in the face of reduced demand during the pandemic — as well as the accommodation and food services sector and arts entertainment and recreation sector, which suffered considerably as nonessential travel effectively ground to a halt for much of 2020. These are the 50 most popular restaurants that have closed permanently due to the pandemic. 

In most states, the economic downturn was accompanied by steep job losses. Most states have shed tens of thousands of jobs over the past year, and the unemployment rate in every state is several points higher now than it was at the same time last year. Here is a look at the cities with the worst COVID-19 unemployment crisis right now.

Click here to see the state economies hit hardest by COVID-19.