Special Report

State Economies Hit Hardest by COVID-19

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36. New Jersey
> 1-year GDP change: -3.5%
> Fastest growing industry: Information (+7.7%)
> Fastest shrinking industry: Arts, entertainment, and recreation (-50.9%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment rate: 10.2%

New Jersey’s economy generated just $538.5 billion in Q3 2020, down 3.5% from $558.1 billion one year earlier. The state’s arts, entertainment, and recreation reported a 50.9% decline in economic output over the same period due in no small part to the temporary shutdown of Atlantic City — the southern New Jersey city with a gaming industry that makes it a popular tourist destination. New Jersey’s unemployment rate for November 2020 stood at 10.2%, higher than in any other state and more than double the state’s 3.7% jobless rate one year earlier.

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37. New Hampshire
> 1-year GDP change: -3.6%
> Fastest growing industry: Finance and insurance (+10.3%)
> Fastest shrinking industry: Arts, entertainment, and recreation (-61.9%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment rate: 3.8%

In nearly every state, the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry shrank faster than all other industries amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but in no state has the sector declined as much as in New Hampshire. In Q3 2019, the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector accounted for nearly $1.2 billion of the state’s overall GDP of $77.2 billion. In Q3 2020, the sector’s economic output fell to less than $500 million, a 61.9% drop.

Overall, New Hampshire’s Q3 2020 GDP of $74.4 billion was 3.6% lower than it was a year earlier. While in most states the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting sector expanded, in New Hampshire it shrank by 9.5%.

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38. Nevada
> 1-year GDP change: -3.7%
> Fastest growing industry: Utilities (+9.7%)
> Fastest shrinking industry: Arts, entertainment, and recreation (-29.9%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment rate: 10.1%

Tourism is the economic backbone of Nevada, and as nonessential travel was effectively halted during much of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state economy felt the pinch. Nevada’s arts, entertainment, and recreation contracted by nearly 30% in the past year, while accommodation and food services reported a 13.8% decline in output.

Nevada’s economic downturn has ushered in an unemployment crisis. The state is one of only three nationwide where more than one in every 10 members of the labor force were out of work, as of November 2020.

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39. New Mexico
> 1-year GDP change: -3.7%
> Fastest growing industry: Utilities (+12.0%)
> Fastest shrinking industry: Arts, entertainment, and recreation (-40.4%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment rate: 7.5%

New Mexico is a resource-rich state — and as one of the top 10 energy-producing states, mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction accounts for about a 10th of the state’s GDP. During the COVID-19 pandemic, demand for oil and gas cratered, resulting in reduced commodity prices and economic crises for states like New Mexico. Due in part to a 22.4% decline in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, New Mexico’s total economic output fell by 3.7% between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020. The state shed nearly 54,000 jobs in the past year.

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40. Pennsylvania
> 1-year GDP change: -3.9%
> Fastest growing industry: Utilities (+8.0%)
> Fastest shrinking industry: Arts, entertainment, and recreation (-48.1%)
> Nov. 2020 unemployment rate: 6.6%

After contracting by 3.9% over the most recent 12 month period, Pennsylvania’s Q3 2020 GDP was just $700.5 billion. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the last time Pennsylvania’s economic output was so low was in 2017. Over the past year, as the state economy shrank, a total of 325,000 jobs were lost. As of November 2020, unemployment stood at 6.6% in Pennsylvania, up from 4.6% in November 2019.

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