Florida’s Economy Is the Most Exposed to Coronavirus

With most states starting to reopen some non-essential businesses but state economies reeling from the loss of revenue and the massive unemployment caused by COVID-19, WalletHub analyzed various data and provided updated rankings for the State Economies Most Exposed to Coronavirus. To identify which states are most vulnerable economically, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 14 key metrics, with the data set ranges from the share of employment by small businesses to the share of a state’s GDP coming from highly affected industries to access to paid sick leave. Florida’s economy ranked as the most exposed due to coronavirus.

“Florida’s economy is most exposed to coronavirus hardship because prior to the pandemic it had a high share of employment in some of the most impacted industries, including real estate, accommodation and food services,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “Florida doesn’t have a lot of extra cash to fall back on during its financial troubles, as the state’s rainy-day fund is able to cover just 4.6 percent of its general fund expenses for 2020.”

Economic Exposure to Covid-19 in Florida (1=Best, 25=Avg.):

  • 1st – GDP Generated by Highly Affected Industries as Share of Total State GDP
  • 1st – Share of Employment from Highly Affected Industries
  • 1st – WalletHub’s “States Hit Most by Unemployment Claims” Score
  • 10th – Share of Workers with Access to Paid Sick Leave
  • 10th – State Rainy Day Funds as Share of State Expenditures

“Despite the fact that most states are starting to reopen non-essential businesses, we will not see rapid economic recovery until we have a vaccine for COVID-19. Since we don’t have a way to immunize people against the virus yet, the reopening process will be slow, as most states are only opening a few types of businesses at a time, often at partial capacity,” said Gonzalez. “States with the most exposed economies to coronavirus are usually those that rely heavily on highly-affected industries like entertainment, travel and tourism, which have been forced to make massive layoffs and lack revenue for rehiring. Businesses in vulnerable industries that do have the resources to rehire workers likely won’t do so right away, as many customers will stay away until the pandemic has fully subsided.”


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