Study: Oklahoma’s economy could be one of the states hardest hit by COVID-19

Joplin Area Coronavirus

The dining section is closed off at East Side Pockets, a small restaurant near Brown University, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in Providence, R.I. President Donald Trump wants the country open for business by mid-April, but some experts warn it’s not as easy as flipping a switch: Economies run on confidence, and that is likely to be in short supply for as long as coronavirus cases in the United States are still rising. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR/ CNN) – The coronavirus pandemic has had a detrimental effect on economies across the globe.

In America, layoffs are coming so quickly that state unemployment offices can’t keep up. Banks are flooded with calls about upcoming mortgage and loan payments. Downtowns are deserted, malls are closed, bars are empty, and airplanes are grounded.

A sudden stop in the economy so severe, Goldman Sachs economists now forecast real GDP growth of negative 9% in the first quarter and down an astonishing 34% in the second. Economists at Goldman Sachs expect the economy to recover mid-year with a 19% gain in the third quarter.

Economists also predict the jobless rate will hit 15% by mid-year. Last week, 3.28 million Americans filed for jobless benefits for the first time.

Although a recession would affect all Americans, it could put a strain on some communities more than others.

As some American businesses have been closed for weeks, many Oklahoma businesses have recently closed their doors.

In a study by SmartAsset, researchers found that Oklahoma would be one of the states hit hardest by a recession.

Researchers say that more than 20% of the jobs in Oklahoma fall within the five most vulnerable industries: Oil and gas; Transportation and warehousing; Administrative services; Arts, entertainment and recreation; Accommodation and food service.

Experts suggest Americans start boosting their savings accounts in case of an emergency, and start cutting back on discretionary expenses.

As part of the coronavirus stimulus package for unemployed Americans, workers who lose their jobs because of COVID-19 can receive unemployment for four months.

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