The COVID-19 Pandemic in North Carolina

Speaker Date: Nov. 15, 2021

Where COVID Hit Hardest Where COVID Hit Hardest: In February 2020 the COVID pandemic grabbed hold of the fabric of life in the United States. Shook it hard. Stretched it, tore it in places.

Our healthcare system has been pushed to and beyond its limits. Schools closed their doors and turned to “remote learning.” Businesses shut down or, where possible, sent their employees home to work.

In 2020 life expectancy in the United States declined for the first time since at least World War II. The average monthly unemployment rate fell to 8.1%, only slightly below the rate during the Great Recession in 2009. Our national GDP dropped by 3.5%, the lowest rate of growth since 1946, and the longest recorded expansion in U. S. history came to an end.

Everyone has felt the impact of Covid-19. But have we felt it equally? We know that small business suffered disproportionately. Minorities too. But what about geography? Was the impact of the pandemic felt equally across the country?

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Dr. Craig Depken II, Professor of Economics University of North Carolina Charlotte

Craig Depken, Ph.D. is a professor of Economics at the University of North Carolina Charlotte where he teaches courses in econometrics, international economics, industrial organization, and the economics of sports. An avid researcher listed as sole or primary author on more the 90 publications (he has contributed to scores of others), Professor Depken has written extensively on local and regional economic development and is nationally recognized as an expert in the economics sports. In 2011 he was appointed to the editorial board of the Journal of Sports Economics and is co-editor of Contemporary Economic Policy. Before coming to UNC Charlotte, Professor Depken earned a Ph.D. at the University of Georgia and served on the faculty of the University of Texas at Arlington.

Ph.D., University of Georgia
B.A., University of Georgia