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Data: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

State economies most exposed to industries that have been slow to bounce back from the pandemic shutdown — like tourism — are seeing the worst labor market pain.

Why it matters: Even states that have the coronavirus more under control than others are taking harder economic hits, thanks to their dependence on sectors slammed by the pandemic.

One example: Hawaii’s unemployment rate, which fell 0.7 percentage points in October, is still more than double the nationwide rate, new Department of Labor data show.

  • More than 91,000 people are out of work in the state — over 5 times more than the 17,000 who were out of work before the pandemic hit.
  • Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector is down 50% from this time last year.

The other side: In places like Nebraska and South Dakota, which have emerged as coronavirus hotspots, the unemployment rate is lower now than before the pandemic hit.

  • Unemployment rates in these states peaked at lower levels than the national rate. Government officials there were less aggressive about imposing economic restrictions.

Yes, but: Vermont, whose unemployment rate peaked at a level close to the nationwide peak, enacted strict economic restrictions and a mask mandate. Its unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country.

  • The makeup of their rural economies mean “more of the people work in industries that wouldn’t really be disrupted by a need for social distancing like agriculture,” Eric Thompson, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told AP earlier this month.

The big picture: The unemployment rate fell in 37 states and the District of Columbia. It rose in eight states, and held steady in five.

The bottom line: States like Hawaii had some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country when the pandemic hit.

  • Unemployment rates are largely improving, but it could be some time before their labor market bounces back the way it has in other states.

Go deeper

Updated 27 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Mix-and-matching gains momentum — Boosters overtake first doses in U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate Brazilian cityPanel endorses J&J booster.
  2. Health: Unvaccinated 11x more likely to die from COVID — 5x more police officers died from COVID than guns — New cases down
  3. Politics: Over 30 states limited public health powers — Pope Francis calls on companies to release COVID vaccine patents — Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders.
  4. Education: Education secretary reveals limits to Biden’s mask push on states — LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.
Jan 30, 2021 - World

Germany to impose travel restrictions to curb spread of coronavirus variants

Border police officers check passports and COVID-19 tests at Frankfurt Airport. Photo: Thomas Lohnes via Getty Images

Germany announced Friday that it was imposing new travel restrictions in an effort to curb the spread of more contagious coronavirus variants.

Details: All non-German residents traveling from countries deemed "areas of variant concern," including the United Kingdom, South Africa, Portugal, Ireland, Brazil, Lesotho and Eswatini, will be banned from entering the country, even if they test negative for the coronavirus.

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.