- BLS published employment growth projections that take into account the impact of the pandemic.
- Brookings used those projections to see how growth differs from the baseline in different states.
- Tourism-heavy states, like Nevada, see the biggest percent differences.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
DC and Massachusetts may experience smaller changes to their employment growth because of the pandemic than other states, based on a new Brookings report.
Mark Muro, senior fellow and policy director of the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings, and research assistant Yang You looked at how employment may change across the US over 10 years.
The analysis is based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ recent projections that consider how the pandemic may affect employment. The two alternate scenario projections from BLS take into account how potential changes in business and consumer behavior from the pandemic may affect employment in the long term.
For instance, BLS expects there to be a continued increase in telework and as a result more demand for tech jobs, like information security analysts.
Brookings’ analysis finds all states and metro areas will see less employment from what was originally projected, based on the percent differences between the pre-pandemic baseline and BLS’ estimates for how employment in different occupations could grow and shrink. However, some states will see greater differences.
Muro and You’s analysis finds that states where there are more opportunities for tech and science employment may see smaller declines in employment. Meanwhile, states with economies that rely on sectors that are expected to see larger drops in employment like accommodation and retail, may be more heavily affected.
The following map highlights the differences in employment between the pre-pandemic baseline and BLS’ post-pandemic projections by state from Brookings’ analysis:
Muro told Insider that most of the differences are modest. The map shows that DC has the smallest percent difference at -1.1%, where employment in the strong impact scenario in 2029 is projected to be around 9,500 lower than the baseline scenario of around 861,000 total jobs in the nation’s capital. Twenty-three states have percent differences of no more than -1.7%.
On the other hand, Nevada has a percent difference of -3.0%, where projected 2029 employment in the strong impact scenario is about 49,000 lower than the baseline of 1.6 million. Hawaii and Florida also have large percentage differences compared to most of the other states.
“This is evidence for the need for some of these vacation and tourism-oriented communities to consider ways they can diversify because this looks like a picture of a sustained, not calamitous, but very real kind of softening,” Muro told Insider.
Hawaii and Nevada are already considering ways to diversify the economy after their tourism-dependent economies were affected by restrictions during the pandemic, like casino closures in Nevada.
As Insider’s Aki Ito previously reported, Hawaii Gov. David Ige said in January that the state has to “diversify” its economy after the state’s tourism industry took a hit as a result of travel restrictions during the pandemic. In particular, Ige said he “will continue to promote technology-driven diversification of our economy.”
The Associated Press reported that Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak similarly wants to diversify the state’s economy. This includes increasing its presence in the technology sector through Innovation Zones, which would give tech companies similar power to a county government, AP writes.
It is important to note the BLS projections may not be exactly what the employment situation looks like over the next decade but could give some indication of what to expect.