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The Covid-19 pandemic and the ensuing lockdowns have wreaked havoc on the economy. While the worst of the economic crisis seems to have passed, it is still a long road to full recovery to pre-pandemic and pre-lockdown levels. On a macro-level, the back-to-normal index is at 95% right now, according to CNN Business and Moody’s Analytics. While this is undoubtedly good news, a more in-depth macro analysis reveals significant variation in how various sectors of the economy have fared during the pandemic. 

One of the best indicators of the economy’s health is unemployment claims. They peaked at over 20 million claims in May of 2020. Today unemployment claims are hovering at slightly below two million jobless claims. The steady decline in unemployment claims shows that the economy is slowly but surely recovering. 

While unemployment is declining nationally, some states have fared worse than others. States like New York and California have unemployment rates of around 7%, while states like Florida and Texas have unemployment rates of around 5%. In the Midwest and Deep South, numerous states such as Georgia and Indiana have unemployment rates at or below 3%. Clearly, the pandemic has hit some states harder than others in terms of employment figures. 

Small businesses have been some of the hardest-hit businesses during the Covid-19 pandemic. Most states have seen 20-40% of their small businesses close either temporarily or permanently during the pandemic. South Dakota is the outlier on the low side, with only 18% of small businesses being shuttered. Delaware and New York have the highest small business closures, with 39% and 37% small business closures, respectively. 

One area of the economy that has taken off during the pandemic is e-commerce. With many stores being closed and many people afraid to shop out, e-commerce has seen substantial growth in 2020 and 2021. E-commerce sales today continue to dwarf their pre-pandemic levels, and it may be a sign that people’s shopping habits may have shifted. 

In terms of domestic air travel, airlines continue to struggle. While more people are traveling now than in 2020, the level has not returned to normal. The current index for airline travel sits at 20-30% below pre-pandemic levels. Hotel occupancy rates are also down and are at 17% below pre-pandemic levels as of December 2021.