By several key indicators, economic conditions worsened in the United States in 2020. Unemployment climbed from an annual average of 3.7% to 8.1%, GDP fell by 3.5%, and businesses across the country shuttered operations for good. There were some bright spots, however, and one of them is labor productivity, which increased in much of the country. Here is a look at the state economies hit hardest by the COVID-19 recession.
Though total hours American workers logged, as well as total output, fell in 2020, the average value of a single hour of work increased in 45 states. Many of the states that reported the largest increases in labor productivity are those that already rank among the most productive in the country, including New York — the most productive state.
New York is one of only 10 states where productivity climbed by more than 5.0% in 2020. The value of a single hour of work in the state rose to an average of $92.27, nearly double the productivity in some other states.
Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24/7 Wall St. ranked states by overall productivity. It is important to note that productivity values are adjusted for inflation to 2012 dollars for more accurate comparisons, both state to state and year over year, and that only private sector, nonfarm labor is considered.
Improvements and differences in productivity from state to state can be due to a number of factors, including technological advancements, capital available to workers, and the workforce’s education and skill level. Here is a look at the most educated city in every state.