Virginia COVID-19 recovery slightly less than average

Virginia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is slightly lower than average when compared to other states, according to a report released by the financial website WalletHub.

The commonwealth ranked 27 when compared to each state and the District of Columbia, scoring a 54.91 overall out of 100. It ranked outside of the top 20 in each of the main categories.

Virginia’s best category was COVID-19 health, in which it ranked 24. This category accounted for half of a state’s overall score and considered vaccination rate, hospitalization rate, hospital staffing shortages, supply staffing shortages and other criteria.

In both categories that focused more on economic and business issues, the commonwealth’s recovery ranked outside of the top 30.

Virginia ranked 34 for its economy and labor market recovery, which accounted for 30% of a state’s overall score. This considered unemployment rate changes, workplace mobility, job postings and other criteria. Virginia ranked third to last for its change in total weekly job postings.

The commonwealth’s worst category was leisure and travel, for which it ranked 39. This accounted for 20% of the total score and considered daily restaurant visits and retail and recreational mobility, among other things.

“Virginia ranks in the middle of the pack in terms of COVID-19 recovery,” WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez told The Center Square.

“Among its strengths, the state counts the low share of hospitals with supply shortages in the past week, just 1%,” Gonzalez said. “Looking at its economy, we found that Virginia’s GDP is just 2.5% below pre-COVID levels, which is among the best recoveries nationwide. One of the areas where the state still needs to improve is the number of weekly job postings which was almost 8% lower in the past week relative to January 2020, before the pandemic started.”

The General Assembly passed a revised budget bill last week, which allocated federal funds toward recovery from the pandemic. It included some funding requested, but not to the extent requested.

About $353 million was included for small businesses and $862 million to offset losses to the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. However, the money for the unemployment system may not get it back to pre-COVID-19 levels, which could cause a tax hike on businesses if not addressed at a later date.

The states with the best recovery were South Dakota, Nebraska, Maine, Iowa and New Hampshire. The states with the worst recovery were Louisiana, Oklahoma, Alabama, Missouri and Mississippi.

This article was originally posted on Virginia COVID-19 recovery slightly less than average

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