State economies are booming, but most are still deep in a hole

While state economies are moving backwards, most remain behind pre-pandemic levels.The most recent coincident indexes are from the Philadelphia Fed. They give an indication of how states are doing.Although Hawaii's economy has remained around 11% below its pre-pandemic peak, it saw a significant three-month increase.Subscribe to the 10 Things in Politics Newsletter for the latest news in politics and the economy. Loading something is currently loading. Click Sign up to receive marketing emails and other offers from Insider.Although almost all the US states have seen an increase in their economic performance in recent months, many are still suffering from the devastating effects of the pandemic.This is according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia's May 2021 data. The bank uses an index of four measures to measure how the states' economies fare month to month. Researchers call it the coincident indicator. While the majority of states saw an improvement in their economic outlooks over months before, many are still well below pre-pandemic levels.Utah continues to grow robustly, not only is it above its pre-pandemic index. Based on Philadelphia Fed's measures, it is one of 13 states that have fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels of economic activity. It continues to lead the pack with a 3.85% increase in percent from February 2020 to April 2021. South Dakota was another standout. It had the fifth-lowest unemployment rate in May and is approximately 2% below prepandemic employment. Both states have coincident indicators above the February 2020 level.Julia Pollak, a ZipRecruiter labor economist, stated that many people have moved to these states because of their permissive attitude towards businesses.Utah was among a few states that chose not to establish a stay-at-home order, according to Eleanor Mueller and Rebecca Rainey of Politico.Montana is a popular pandemic-relocation location and has seen its economy roar back. Another state was quick to reopen the doors and take orders for stay-at-home stays.Even though some of the hardest hit states are starting to rebound, there is still a lot of work ahead.States that were especially hard hit by the pandemic are seeing gains. New York, Massachusetts and Nevada, all of whom were especially hard hit by the economic downturn, saw significant gains compared to months ago. The pandemic's travel chill did not help Hawaii and Nevada, which had tourist-heavy economies. Both New York City and Massachusetts were hit with heavy case loads.All of these states have economies that are below the February 2020 level, which shows the uneven recovery. While some economies may see an increase in vaccination rates in the Northeast, there is still a lot of ground to cover.Although Hawaii has the lowest pre-pandemic level of economic activity, and the highest rate of unemployment among the states in May (at almost 5%), the Philadelphia Fed measure saw the greatest percent increase from February 2021 to may 2021. New York and Massachusetts also saw strong increases in economic activity starting in February 2021. The following map shows each state's change over the past three months in coincident indicators:According to the most recent release, 47 states saw indexes rise between February 2021 and May 2021. Only Alaska and Wyoming saw their indexes drop during this period. The coincident index in Iowa was almost unchanged.However, earlier reopenings or more relaxed restrictions can have their own consequences. Workers who supported those economies might have had to return work places where they felt unsafe or had to choose between earning a paycheck or staying home for safety reasons.One Fair Wage conducted a survey of female tip workers and found that harassment was on the rise during the pandemic, while tips were on the decline.