Worcester County could end up being one of the economically hardest hit regions in America due to the COVID-19 crisis.
In an article published by USA Today, financial news service 24/7 Wall Street predicts that Worcester County, Maryland could be the eleventh hardest hit region in the U.S. from an economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis. The methodology used is based primarily on employment rates of hard hit industries, accounting for 80 percent of the index. COVID-19 infection rates and population density make up the remaining 20 percent.
While Worcester County has a relatively low COVID-19 infection rate and population density, the area already has an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent due to the seasonal nature of much of the workforce. The article predicts that it will likely worsen as a little over 38 percent of jobs are in high-risk industries like tourism. Many of these jobs rely on Ocean City hosting the more than 8 million visitors the area sees annually. If the COVID-19 crisis persists and the area remains closed to tourists, much of the local economy could suffer.
From the article:
Worcester is the easternmost county in Maryland — and with miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean, the county is a popular tourist destination. As non-essential travel has been effectively eliminated in an attempt to contain the coronavirus pandemic, many of the 9,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality industry in the county are at risk.
Number one on the list of thirty is Gilpin County, Colorado that has just over 82 percent of local jobs considered high risk.
For a list of federal, state, and county resources, visit MACo’s COVID-19 Resource Page.