The U.S. economy reported its worst quarterly decline in modern history during the COVID-19 pandemic, with gross domestic product shrinking at an annual rate of 31.4% in the second quarter. The economy bounced back in the third quarter, but efforts to contain the virus's spread throughout 2020 still resulted in a 3.5% annual economic contraction in the United States.
Arriving on the heels of a historic period of growth, COVID-19 brought about a decline in gross domestic product in every state in the country. However, no two state economies are alike, and partially as a result, some states were hit far harder than others.
California's GDP declined to $2.7 trillion in 2020. The staggering $77.7 billion drop is a larger decline than the entire annual economic output of over a dozen states. Still, as California's economy is by far the largest of any state, its contraction in 2020 amounted to just 2.8%, a smaller decline than most states reported.
While economic decline in California was less pronounced than in much of the country, the state's job market was hit especially hard. Overall employment fell by 7.4% in the state in 2020. Due to mass layoffs in services, retail trade, and hospitality, there were nearly 1.3 million fewer people working in California on average in 2020 than there were in 2019.
States are ranked based on the percentage change in real GDP from 2019 to 2020. Data on GDP and industry-specific real GDP came from the BEA. Data on average annual employment and the seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate each came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
|Rank||State||Change in GDP, 2020 (%)||April 2021 unemployment (%)||Change in nonfarm employment, 2020 (%)|