WalletHub: Louisiana's economy hit hardest by COVID-19

Micah Pickering
Beauregard Daily News

Financial Analysis website WalletHub released a ranked list of states whose economies were hit the hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. Louisiana topped the list with Wallet Hub citing many of Louisiana's biggest industries were among those most affected by the pandemic. 

“Louisiana’s economy has been hit the most by coronavirus because prior to the pandemic it had a high share of employment in some of the most impacted industries, including oil and gas extraction; accommodation and food services; arts, entertainment and recreation; and retail trade,” said WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez. “Louisiana 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 5.4 percent of its general fund expenses for 2021.”

Gonzalez explained the reason why some states were hit harder than others during the pandemic.

“This pandemic has hit certain industries especially hard, such as accommodation and food services, entertainment and retail trade. Some states have a higher concentration of jobs in highly affected industries or a higher share of state GDP from those industries than others,” said Gonzalez. “WalletHub’s study used 13 core metrics to measure the impact of COVID-19 on state economies, with the most weight going to the share of each state’s GDP and workforce that are from highly affected industries, along with the rate at which initial unemployment insurance claims are being made.”

Gonzalez expressed that there is plenty to be hopeful for in the near future thanks to the vaccines, restrictions being lifted on businesses, and American Rescue Plan. The American Rescue Plan is the ambitious 1.9 trillion dollar stimulus package signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11.

“State economies should be bolstered in the coming months through a combination of vaccination and the American Rescue Plan. As more people become eligible for the vaccine and receive it, states will continue to eliminate restrictions, which will lead to greater spending at businesses and a reduction in unemployment,” said Gonzalez. “The American Rescue Plan should work wonders for state economies, too, through a combination of individuals spending more due to their stimulus checks, businesses avoiding layoffs through PPP loans and states getting federal funding to replace lost tax revenue.”

To read the complete list with more information log on to https://wallethub.com/edu/state-economies-most-exposed-to-coronavirus/72631.