With a total score of 72.94, Iowa has the third quickest rate of recovery from COVID-19 in the United States since last week, WalletHub reported.
Only South Dakota and Maine, which had total scores of 76.09 and 73.98 respectively, surpassed The Hawkeye State across 17 metrics. Iowa’s neighbor Nebraska placed sixth, while Minnesota placed 12th, Wisconsin placed 15th and Illinois placed 25th.
Iowa placed second (following South Dakota) in the Leisure and Travel dimension (20 points). The state ranked ninth in average daily restaurant visits per capita (549.78) from Aug. 23 to Aug. 29; 10th in change in number of visits to retail and recreation sites (retail & recreation mobility index, 8%); and 13th in change in number of visits to parks (parks mobility index, 127%).
The state placed 10th in the Economy and Labor Market dimension (30 points) and 14th in the COVID Health dimension (50 points).
Iowa placed sixth in lowest share of hospitals with staff shortages (3%). It placed eighth in both the lowest share of hospitals with supply shortages (1%) and total weekly unique job postings as of the week ending Aug. 27 relative to January 2020 (35.6%).
The state ranked comparatively poorly in its positive testing rate for COVID (35th, 13.2%) and total consumer spending vs. pre-COVID levels (37th, 11.3%). Its share of population 12 years and older fully vaccinated is 61.4%, making it the 24th most successful state in that category, falling behind Nebraska, which ranked 22nd, at 62.7%.
Nebraska beat Iowa in the Economy and Labor Market dimension, as the Cornhusker State placed first in the workplace mobility index (visits to places of work) and the unemployment rate vs pre-COVID levels index (July 2021 compared with July 2019). Iowa placed 9th and 30th in those categories, respectively. Nebraska has also used 86.58% of its vaccine supply while Iowa has used 83.81% and South Dakota has used 82.62%.
WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez said in an emailed statement to The Center Square that a state’s public health recovery “is essential for its economic recovery.”
“The biggest factors hurting the economy are restrictions on businesses and high unemployment, both of which are a direct result of necessary public health measures put in place to curb the pandemic,” she said. “As COVID-19 cases and deaths decline in a state, the government can loosen restrictions and businesses can hire more as a result. Prioritizing vaccination will speed up the country’s public health recovery, which in turn will accelerate the economic recovery.”
South Dakota and Nebraska are the only states in the country whose unemployment rates decreased between June 2019 and June 2021. The unemployment rate in the U.S. has dropped to 5.2% from 14.8% in April 2020, WalletHub reported.
This article was originally posted on Iowa places third in U.S. for quickest rate of COVID-19 recovery