COVID-19 is expected to have a significant, negative economic impact on the entire nation. Roanoke could see job losses of 20,000 to as many as 35,000 at the peak of the recession that will likely result from COVID-19.
This would translate to unemployment reaching 12 percent to as much as 20 percent in the region. The period of recovery will depend ultimately on a number of factors including additional federal stimulus, epidemiological speed, policy response, and any long-term changes in consumer behavior that may result.
Roanoke is generally as exposed to job loss as the state overall with very similar proportional employment in severe and low impact industry groupings. Roanoke has a slightly higher percentage of employment in industries expected to be severely impacted but Roanoke makes up that difference with a slightly higher proportion of low-impact industries.
This information is based on an analysis performed by the Virginia Economic Development Partnership. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership has convened a working group and conducted interviews with businesses and stakeholders to arrive at expected impacts on the statewide economy. Roanoke Regional Partnership staff applied this information to data for the Roanoke Region to arrive at an impact scenario.
The Roanoke Regional Partnership is committed to monitoring new information as it is available, making it available to its development partners, and to assist in the economic recovery effort.