RALEIGH – North Carolina is the 20th fastest-recovering state in the nation, according to the results of a new analysis conducted by WalletHub,

The analysis incorporates data through August 16, and the ranking methodology factors in three primary areas:

  • COVID health metrics
  • Leisure and travel data
  • Economic and labor market conditions

North Carolina did rank 16th in the category that tracked economic conditions and the labor market, according to the study.

Some of the reason why is a strong labor market in the Triangle.  For instance, a recent study found that Raleigh was the fourth-best performing area in the country and the Triangle also ranked as the third most resilient tech hub in the country earlier this summer.

Many of the states ranked ahead of North Carolina are less populous.  Only Ohio, which is ranked 16th, has a higher population than North Carolina, which is the 9th most populous state in the nation.

In total, 18 different metrics were analyzed by the study’s authors. Additional weighting placed on a state’s hospitalization rate, death rate, positive testing rate, the share of hospitals with staff or supply shortages, vaccination rate, real GDP, unemployment rate, and active real estate listings.

“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,” Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst, told WRAL TechWire.  “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.”

Each state was graded on a 100-point scale for each tracked metric, then the weighted averages were applied, and the states were rank-ordered based on the overall weighted average.

North Carolina received a rating of 57.08.  Montana, in the 19th position, received a rating of 57.12.

“The current U.S. economic recovery is tied to the health crisis that is the result of COVID-19,” said Gerald Daniels Jr., an associate professor and the associate director of undergraduate studies for the Department of Economics at Howard University.  “As the share of the vaccinated population continues to increase, I anticipate a continued improvement of economic conditions.”