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Explore the relative vulnerability of each United States county to economic disruption due to COVID-19 based on the industries that employ those who live in the county.
How badly will the economy of your community be affected by COVID-19? We believe that depends a lot on where people in your community work. The impact of shutting down public spaces and implementing stay-at-home orders and social distancing varies substantially by industry. Some industries, such as restaurants, are almost completely shut down. Others—particularly those in the food supply chain or where employees can easily work remotely—are less affected.
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To determine each industry’s vulnerability to the COVID-19 crisis, we employed the “wisdom of crowds.”1 Our “crowd” in this case was the researchers of Deloitte’s US Research and Insights organization, most of whom are industry specialists who are studying COVID-19’s impact on their respective industries. On April 14, 2020, we sent them a survey asking them to rank industries by vulnerability to the pandemic.
Based on the survey results, we then created what we call the Deloitte US economic vulnerability index score. To calculate each county’s EVI score, we multiplied the county’s share of employment in each industry by the vulnerability of the industry as determined by our survey. The county’s score is the total of these weighted employment shares times the industry score. We then classified counties according to quintiles of risk, with 1 being the least vulnerable and 5 the most vulnerable. If every person employed in a county works in the least vulnerable industry, the county’s EVI will be 1. Conversely, if every person works in the most vulnerable industry, the county’s EVI will be 5.
The resulting EVI scores, which you can explore in the map above, show the relative vulnerability of each county in the United States to economic disruption based on the industries that employ those who live in the county, as reported by the US Census Bureau. Vulnerability scores range from 1 to 5: the higher the score, the more likely the county’s employees are vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis. The map shows counties by their EVI; darker counties are more vulnerable to the COVID-19 crisis than lighter counties.