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The closure of small businesses due to COVID-19 was widespread in 2020. Now, the Wyoming Legislature is holding a special session to discuss 20 bills aimed at countering President Joe Biden's proposed vaccine mandates. Photo: Nick Sulzer // Buckrail

WYOMING – 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 today released updated rankings for the State Economies Most Exposed to Coronavirus.


Coronavirus isn’t just a danger to Americans’ health. It’s also a menace to our wallets. Due to the pandemic, scores of non-essential businesses have closed for months, and states are only just beginning to reopen. The loss of revenue from business closures has caused massive layoffs, and the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 14.5%.

While the federal government has helped mitigate some of this damage through business loans, direct stimulus payments to individuals and increased unemployment benefits, it will take a long time for state economies to recover, especially in states that depend heavily on the industries that were most affected by the pandemic.

Some states are better positioned economically to deal with the coronavirus pandemic than others. According to the data, Wyoming appears to be in good position to weather the storm thanks, primarily, to a more robust network of resources for businesses to cope with the corona crisis than are available in most states. But the Cowboy State is not without its challenges. Predictably, the state ranked top of the list for worst hit in the mining/oil and gas sector, as well as placing high on the list for worst affected in the lodging/food services industry.

To identify which states are most vulnerable economically, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 14 key metrics. 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.