WV Public Broadcasting – The COVID-19 pandemic devastated the economy across much of the world and the country, including West Virginia. But, economists are hopeful for recovery with the rollout of the vaccine, pointing to early signs of a rebound across several sectors and a prediction for full recovery to pre-pandemic levels next year. Read the full article.
This hopeful forecast is in contrast to the grim early days when within the first month of the Mountain State shutting down due to the pandemic, unemployment rates soared. West Virginia lost 92,000 jobs in April alone.
“This was what we lost, you know, during the entire Great Recession, but, having that happen in one month,” said Sean O’Leary, a senior policy analyst for the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy.
But by August, the state gained back more than half of those lost jobs, O’Leary said, adding that the economy initially recovered quickly as businesses re-opened in the summer. Since then, the recovery has not been as swift.
“As the pandemic has dragged on, as cases, you know, continue to rise, it never really got under control,” he said. “Things started to slow down, and we stopped adding thousands of jobs each month.”