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US Economy: Failing States vs Thriving States

A pandemic caused by Coronavirus in early 2020 wiped out the U.S. economy in a matter of hours. Suddenly in April 2020, the U.S. unemployment rate reached an all-time high of 14.7%. Both the overall unemployment rate of 14.7% and the 10.3% increase from the previous month were the highest levels since 1948 when the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping records.

In terms of both the unemployment rate and growth in GDP, the economy overall has been steadily improving since then. Because of the massive size of the United States and its variety of states and economies, recovery has been uneven so far. In some states, the return to normal levels has already been achieved, while in others, it has taken longer.

According to Yahoo, to determine which economies have been doing well and which have been struggling, the company took into account a variety of factors, including GDP growth and unemployment rates, as well as wage changes and the number of people living in poverty in each state.

The states were ranked in reverse order after they were divided into 15 top states and 15 bottom states. Thus, the state in the worst current economic shape appears as No. 1 at the end of the “failing economies”. States with a year-over-year percentage gain in employment appear as No. 1 under the “thriving economies” section.

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Failing Economy States

15. Arkansas

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 4.5%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -2.8%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $44,328

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 5.1%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $892

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.1%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 16.2%

14. Rhode Island

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 7.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -8.7%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $58,245

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 2.6%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,092

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 10.4%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 10.8%

13. Oregon

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 6.1%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -7.8%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $62,109

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 2.7%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,113

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 7.4%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 11.4%

12. Illinois

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 7.4%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -7.5%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $69,422

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 3.5%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,199

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.8%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 11.5%

11. Pennsylvania

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 7.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -7.2%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $62,497

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 3.7%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,139

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 7.0%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 12.0%

10. Michigan

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 5.2%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -7.5%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $53,008

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 1.7%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,096

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 7.5%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 13.0%

9. Wyoming

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 5.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -5.2%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $63,772

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 3.8%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $939

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: -0.4%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 10.1%

8. Kentucky

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 5.2%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -5.1%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $48,655

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 4.3%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $935

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 5.8%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 16.3%

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7. Nevada

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 8.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -10.6%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $60,028

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 4.2%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,048

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 7.8%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 12.5%

6. Oklahoma

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 4.4%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -5.4%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $48,508

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 3.5%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $917

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 2.3%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 15.2%

5. Hawaii

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 9.2%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -17.8%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $63,826

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 2.1%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,114

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 10.3%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 9.3%

4. Mississippi

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 6.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -4.0%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $39,580

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 5.6%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $810

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 5.6%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 19.6%

3. West Virginia

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 6.2%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -5.5%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $41,798

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 3.4%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $913

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 1.8%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 16.0%

2. Louisiana

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 7.6%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -7.8%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $53,229

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 3.0%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $970

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 5.2%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 19.0%

1. New Mexico

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 8.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -8.9%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $49,050

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 2.5%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $944

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 5.1%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 18.2%

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Thriving Economy States

These are the states where the economy flourishes. They have recovered nicely in terms of unemployment and GDP. Here are 15 states leading the way for American recovery as a whole.

15. Kansas

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 3.2%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -4.9%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $61,274

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 4.0%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $952

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.6%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 11.4%

14. Connecticut

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 8.5%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -7.2%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $80,816

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 7.0%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,328

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 7.4%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 10.0%

13. Delaware

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 6.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -5.2%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $81,158

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 5.8%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,150

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.8%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 11.3%

12. Virginia

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 5.2%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -4.8%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $66,997

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 4.7%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,201

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.4%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 9.9%

11. Iowa

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 3.6%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -5.1%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $63,688

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 6.3%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $969

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.0%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 11.2%

10. Maryland

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 6.2%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -6.0%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $71,926

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 3.6%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,277

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 9.5%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 9.0%

9. Minnesota

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 4.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -7.0%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $69,290

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 4.7%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,178

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.4%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 9.0%

8. District of Columbia

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 8.1%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -8.9%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $210,453

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 1.2%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,962

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.1%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 13.5%

7. Idaho

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 3.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: 1.0%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $50,856

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 5.4%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $884

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 5.5%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 11.2%

6. Massachusetts

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 7.1%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -8.7%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $87,374

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 4.7%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,488

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 9.7%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 9.4%

5. Washington

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 5.6%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -6.0%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $86,167

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 1.8%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,482

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 11.0%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 9.8%

4. Nebraska

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 3.1%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -2.9%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $69,500

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 6.3%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $964

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.4%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 9.9%

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3. New Hampshire

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 3.3%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -5.4%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $64,757

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 3.8%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,171

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 8.9%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 7.3%

2. South Dakota

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 2.9%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: -2.5%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $65,632

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 9.9%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $918

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 7.2%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 11.9%

1. Utah

Feb. 2021 unemployment rate: 3.0%

Year-over-year change in unemployment Feb. 2021: 0.4%

Q4 2020 GDP per capita: $65,494

GDP growth Q3 2020-Q4 2020: 7.1%

Average weekly wages Sept. 2020: $1,015

Percent change in average weekly wages Sept. 2019-Sept. 2020: 6.1%

Percent of population below poverty line 2019: 8.9%

NATE GARTRELL
NATE GARTRELLhttps://theeastcountygazette.com/
NATE GARTRELL is an author at TheEastCountyGazette.com, a publication in the East County region of San Diego County. He has been writing for the Gazette since 2012 and writes on many different topics including politics, business, health care and more.
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