Report: Labor Market Healthiest In Red States, Suffering In Blue States
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 11: Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes questions from reproters during a press conference at the Javits Center in Manhattan on May 11, 2021 in New York City. Gov. Cuomo held the press conference to give an update on coronavirus (COVID-19) efforts and to announce the expansion of the Javits Center as well as various projects in what he called the "Reimagine, Rebuild, Renew" campaign to support the reopening and recovery of New York State due to the impact of the pandemic. (Photo by
Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

A new report reveals that red states are observing far more robust job growth than blue states.

Personal finance company WalletHub combined several data sources — including change in unemployment from May 2021 to May 2019, change in unemployment from May 2020 and January 2020, and non-seasonally adjusted continued claims from May 2019 to May 2021 — to rank-order the fifty states and Washington, D.C. for labor market improvement.

Nine of the top ten performing states are led by Republican governors:

  1. Vermont — Gov. Phil Scott (R)
  2. Utah — Gov. Spencer Cox (R)
  3. Nebraska — Gov. Pete Ricketts (R)
  4. South Dakota — Gov. Kristi Noem (R)
  5. Idaho — Gov. Brad Little (R)
  6. New Hampshire — Gov. Chris Sununu (R)
  7. Alabama — Gov. Kay Ivey (R)
  8. Kansas — Gov. Laura Kelly (D)
  9. Montana — Gov. Greg Gianforte (R)
  10. Oklahoma — Gov. Kevin Stitt (R)

All of the bottom ten states are led by Democrats:

  1. Illinois — Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D)
  2. New Jersey — Gov. Phil Murphy (D)
  3. Louisiana — Gov. John Bel Edwards (D)
  4. District of Columbia — Mayor Muriel Bowser (D)
  5. California — Gov. Gavin Newsom (D)
  6. Connecticut — Gov. Ned Lamont (D)
  7. Nevada — Gov. Steve Sisolak (D)
  8. New York — Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D)
  9. New Mexico — Gov. Michelle Grisham (D)
  10. Hawaii — Gov. David Ige (D)

As the United States recovers from COVID-19 and the lockdown-induced recession, unusually high unemployment is challenging employers across the United States — a trend driven by enhanced federal unemployment insurance. States that continue to participate in the handouts are observing particularly slow job growth.

One recent report found that many states are offering benefit packages “equivalent to $100,000 a year in salary for a family of four with two unemployed parents.” Even without considering “food stamps, school breakfast and lunch programs, rental assistance, and the fact that some unemployment benefits are not subject to federal income tax,” analysts stated that “the maximum benefit package when including the $300 a week supplemental UI benefit” vastly outweighs Americans’ median household income of $68,000.

During Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s recent testimony before the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) asked about the policies affecting the Fed’s capacity to pursue low inflation and maximum employment.

Powell noted that federal unemployment insurance is slowing the labor market rebound, which will improve once benefits expire: “You would expect a significant — a really strong set of jobs numbers coming up, beginning in the next month.”

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