November 23, 2020 8:19 am
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Categories: Economy JoshWho News The Bongino Report

the states with the slowest employment recoveries from the pandemic

State economies most exposed to industries that have been slow to bounce back from the pandemic shutdown — like tourism — are seeing the worst labor market pain.

Why it matters: Even states that have the coronavirus more under control than others are taking harder economic hits, thanks to their dependence on sectors slammed by the pandemic.

One example: Hawaii’s unemployment rate, which fell 0.7 percentage points in October, is still more than double the nationwide rate, new Department of Labor data show.

  • More than 91,000 people are out of work in the state — over 5 times more than the 17,000 who were out of work before the pandemic hit.
  • Employment in the leisure and hospitality sector is down 50% from this time last year.

The other side: In places like Nebraska and South Dakota, which have emerged as coronavirus hotspots, the unemployment rate is lower now than before the pandemic hit.

  • Unemployment rates in these states peaked at lower levels than the national rate. Government officials there were less aggressive about imposing economic restrictions.

Yes, but: Vermont, whose unemployment rate peaked at a level close to the nationwide peak, enacted strict economic restrictions and a mask mandate. Its unemployment rate is among the lowest in the country.

  • The makeup of their rural economies mean “more of the people work in industries that wouldn’t really be disrupted by a need for social distancing like agriculture,” Eric Thompson, a professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, told AP earlier this month.

The big picture: The unemployment rate fell in 37 states and the District of Columbia. It rose in eight states, and held steady in five.

The bottom line: States like Hawaii had some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country when the pandemic hit.

  • Unemployment rates are largely improving, but it could be some time before their labor market bounces back the way it has in other states.

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