States where residents voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election actually lost far more jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic than states where residents voted for former President Donald Trump, according to a new report.
“Between February and December of last year, states that went for Biden saw the total number of people working drop an average of 6.2 percent, versus a 2.5 percent decline in those voting for the Republican, according to a DailyMail.com analysis of federal jobs data,” the U.K. paper reported. “The 13 states that saw the lowest decline in employment all lean strongly Republican, led by Alaska and Utah which actually saw employment increase by 0.7 and 0.3 percent respectively.”
States varied widely in their reaction to the pandemic. Blue states set more restrictive rules than red states, but later analysis found that there was little difference between the two strategies in outcome, in terms of containing COVID-19.
The DailyMail.com analysis analyzed U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data to suss out the change in the civilian labor force in each state between February and December of last year.
The Mail cited Matt Welch, writing in Reason magazine, with his own analysis.
“What explains this partisan pattern in COVID-era jobs reports? Certainly not the virus itself. Hawaii is not just the job-loss leader; it’s also the state with the least mortality from the pandemic—30 deaths per 100,000 residents as of late February 2021, according to Johns Hopkins University,” Welch wrote. “Job-growth leader Utah has the sixth-lowest death rate, with 57 per 100,000; New York is third in job loss, second in death rate; Mississippi is fifth in death rate, fourth from the bottom in unemployment. The explanation for the disparity lies elsewhere.”
From February 1, 2020, when the pandemic really started to hit the United States, through the end of December, the net number of jobs decreased in 48 out of 50 states, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But when you sort the results by the drop in the percentage of employment, a startling pattern emerges.
Each and every one of the 18 states that suffered the worst job losses during that span, ranging from Hawaii’s 13.6 percent to Nevada’s 6.9 percent, voted in November for Joe Biden. In 11 of those, Democrats control the statehouse and both chambers of the legislature.
Meanwhile, the 18 states with the lowest rates of employment change, ranging from Oklahoma’s 4.4 percent loss to Utah’s 0.3 percent gain, share their own anomalous political characteristic: They each feature unified Republican executive and legislative control of government. Only two of those 18, Arizona and Georgia, voted for Biden, and by the slimmest of margins.
Welch noted that blue states shut down businesses and schools more quickly and for longer than red states.
“Blue-state governors in California and New York and Michigan have been far more strict about shutting down economic and physical activity than their red-state counterparts in Florida, South Dakota, and Texas,” he wrote. “The comparative death tolls are roughly the same (California tracks with Florida, New York with South Dakota, and Michigan with Texas); the economic performances are anything but,” he added.
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