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A new study examines the economic impacts of COVID-19

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A new study examines the economic impacts of COVID-19
Posted at 9:41 PM, Feb 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-02 22:41:43-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) -- Some economists are saying the pandemic has caused the worst economic downturn the United States has experienced, since the great depression.

A new study from the Wisconsin Counties Association recently looked at data from March through November of 2020, to further examine some of the impacts of COVID-19 on the economy and jobs.

"Jobs, we're still 7.5 percent behind where we were pre-pandemic, which is a pretty big number," says Dale Knapp the author of the study and Director of Forward Analytics,

Knapp says as of November, there were about 25 percent fewer people working in the food industry than there were before the pandemic hit and that the entertainment industry is faring even worse.

"The arts and entertainment industry, job numbers were 36 percent below pre-pandemic (numbers)."

Knapp says the downturn in the economy has impacted people with lower-paying jobs the most. Marc Schaffer, an Associate Professor of Economics at St. Norbert College adds that these are the professions where working from home, often wasn't an option.

"Entertainment, hospitality, hotels, tourism, all of those areas are still well behind what they were pre-pandemic," adds Schaffer.

Schaffer says in many cases folks with higher-paying jobs, are being more employed right now than those of lower-paying professions.

"high-income employment has rebounded, largely as a whole from where we were in January. We had a drop, and it's kind of come back. The low-income employment dropped, came up a little bit, but it's still well off of what it was in January."

And with over one million people in Wisconsin filing for unemployment since mid-March, economists say it could be some time yet before the economy, truly recovers.

"The (Wisconsin) Department of Revenue is looking at somewhere between 2022 and 2023 at the pace we're going," adds Knapp.

Coming up on February 17th, St. Norbert College will be hosting a virtual State of the Economy event. At the one-hour event, Schaffer will be presenting an in-depth look at some of the factors affecting the economy. For more details on how to participate, check out this link.