Bracing for Impact: Covid-19 Job Losses Across the States

With some 17 million Americans filing for unemployment in the last three weeks alone, job losses from the coronavirus pandemic are being felt far and wide across the country. But some places will take a bigger long-term hit than others. A new analysis from IHS Markit examines which states are likely to endure the deepest job losses from the Covid-19 pandemic. It concludes that tourism-reliant states like Nevada and Florida will be hit hardest, along with upper Midwest manufacturing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

As for Texas, it lies somewhere in the middle of the pack for this analysis, although the Lone Star State is already taking a big hit from the drop in oil demand brought on by the pandemic. "With the disease concerns, the strain on the oil industry is partly related to the coronavirus on the demand side," says Tom Jackson, regional economist with IHS Markit. "But that's just a real extra hit for Texas."

Also directly affecting Texas is the decline in the airlines, with air travel dropping to a decades low thanks to stay-at-home orders and travel bans. Two of the major U.S. airlines, American and Southwest, are headquartered in Texas. "The airline impacts are all over, particularly around the periphery of the country on the coasts, and down in Texas," says Jackson. "And that's what's really making the impact so spread out."

Overall, Jackson predicts some gradual improvement later this year, but warns that for some states and regions the recovery will be a slow one. "What's tricky is if you try to start getting things going again, but then you have a second wave of outbreak, then that ends up being worse," he says. "We're probably, in a fairly good case scenario, looking at two or three years to get things really back up to kind of what we're used to."

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