The coronavirus pandemic is dismantling economies across the nation, but is it worse in South Carolina?
A recent WalletHub study analyzing loan-related searches and credit scores suggests that the financial impact of COVID-19 is worse in the Palmetto State.
The study ranked South Carolina No. 1 in the nation for “States Where People Need Loans the Most Due To COVID-19 pandemic.”
The analysis includes a breakdown of how each state scored in each category. South Carolina ranked:
- No. 13 for loan search interest
- No. 8 For payday loans search interest
- No. 1 For home equity loan search interest
- No. 4 for change in average inquiry count
“Greater interest in getting a loan indicates that more people in the state are struggling to make ends meet,” WalletHub’s press release said. “It also implies there may be more strain on the state’s public assistance programs in the near future, and the state may experience a deeper recession than others will.
Washington D.C. ranked No. 2, with Virginia, Alabama and New York all in the top 5.
Rural states with less than 500 confirmed coronavirus cases each — Montana, Wyoming, and North Dakota — ranked at the bottom of the list, appearing to be less impacted economically by the public health crisis. Montana and Wyoming are two of only eight states left that haven’t issued stay-at-home mandates, according to the New York Times.
On Monday, South Carolina became the last state east of the Mississippi River to issue a stay-at-home order.
As of Wednesday, South Carolina had 2,552 COVID-19 cases, ranking 29th in the nation for cases per capita. New York, New Jersey, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and D.C. were in the top 5 for cases per capita.
This is not the only data we’ve seen that shows the coronavirus pandemic could more devastating to South Carolina’s economy compared to most other states.
For the last three weeks, unemployment filings in South Carolina have outpaced the national average, FITSNews founding editor Will Folks reported today.
According to the latest data from the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (SCDEW), 85,018 South Carolinians filed for unemployment benefits during the week that ended April 4.
“The agency has processed 180,928 (unemployment) claims in the past three weeks as opposed to the prior three weeks when the agency processed a total of 5,862 initial claims,” the SCDEW release said.
“South Carolinians are especially vulnerable to the looming economic downturn,” Will Folks wrote this morning. “Before the seismic economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Palmetto State has long had one of the nation’s most anemic employment economies.”
Folks pointed to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that showed South Carolina’s labor participation rate was the fifth lowest in the nation — in Febuary — before the coronavirus crashed the economy. Just 2.4 million of the state’s 4.1. million people of working age were working.
South Carolina’s median income of 51,396 put the Palmetto State at No. 41 in the nation, according to 2018 (the most recent) data.
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