Skip to comments.Except For Locked-Down Blue States, America’s Economic Recovery From COVID-19 Is Amazingly Strong
Posted on 10/14/2020 9:21:21 AM PDT by Kaslin
The nations corporate media have mostly downplayed or ignored the U.S. economys remarkable performance following the COVID-19 lockdowns earlier this year.
The nations corporate media have mostly downplayed or ignored the U.S. economys remarkable performance following the COVID-19 lockdowns earlier this year. They have completely ignored how pandemic-related economic restrictions in many states have prevented the ongoing recovery from being even stronger.
In just five months, the unemployment rate has fallen by 45 percent from its April peak of 14.7 percent, and the economy has also regained just over half of the 22.2 million jobs lost in March and April. This is a far better performance than most economists expected. Media outlets far and wide, and even the Congressional Budget Office, originally predicted that it would take ten years for the economy to fully recover.
The governments Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) told us on Oct. 2 that the nations seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in September was 7.9 percent (down from 8.4 percent in August), and that the economy added 661,000 jobs during the month.
Both CNBC and the Associated Press emphasized that Septembers job additions were a sharp drop from the nearly 1.5 million jobs added in August. Both outlets failed to tell readers how volatile government hiring affected these results.
In August, 1.02 million jobs were added in the private sector while government employment increased by 467,000. September saw an increase of 877,000 jobs in the private sector and 216,000 jobs lost in government, primarily in local education. Coming in just 14 percent lower than August, Septembers private-sector result was hardly the major loss of momentum CNBC and the AP claimed.
Recent government data tells us we are seeing two recoveries. Most states have seen moderate to significant improvements in conditions since April, but ten states, in particular, have not.
While Augusts jobless rate was 8.4 percent, the following ten states, according to the BLSs Sept. 18 detailed report, turned in results above 10 percent. Most of the laggards were well above that double-digit threshold:
California: 11.4 percent
Hawaii: 12.5 percent
Illinois: 11.0 percent
Massachusetts: 11.3 percent
New Jersey: 10.9 percent
New Mexico: 11.3 percent
Nevada: 13.2 percent
New York: 12.5 percent
Pennsylvania: 10.3 percent
Rhode Island: 12.8 percent
These states have one thing in common: Their governors have imposed severe pandemic-related restrictions on economic activity, and they have been either been extraordinarily reluctant to or have directly refused to lift them, despite COVID-19s diminishing mortality threat.
These ten states have just under one-third of the countrys population. Their combined population-weighted unemployment rate in August was 11.4 percent. This means the unemployment rate for the rest of the nation was below 7 percent.
Given the national unemployment rates half-point drop in September and the continued refusal of the governors of these ten states to make significant moves to genuinely reopen their economies, its reasonable to predict that the contrast between them and most of the rest of the country will be even starker on Oct. 20 when the BLS releases its next state-level report.
Its likely that corporate media will either fail to notice the seriously lagging states before Election Day or, if they do, they will fail to properly assign blame. In the AP article noted earlier, reporter Christopher Rugaber claimed that the economy has remained one of the few bright spots in (Donald) Trumps otherwise weak political standing. He then contended that voters in some battleground states may feel differently, and specifically cited Pennsylvanias 10.3 percent unemployment rate as an example.
The Trump administration presides over the entire country. That includes states which are recovering strongly and those which arent. For that obvious reason, longtime economics reporter Rugaber should have known better than to imply that Trump is the only reason the Keystone States recovery is lagging. Its reasonable to suspect that he and other reporters in the business press know whats really happening and that they simply wont tell us.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and his administration are the real culprits here. The states original stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders stretched into mid-May. When some non-essential businesses began defying those orders, Wolf took to the bully pulpit to warn businesses the state could pull their licenses and other required government approvals to operate. He also threatened to withhold state and federal funding from counties whose district attorneys announced they would not prosecute offenders.
The states current gathering restrictions, all of which clearly continue to stifle economic activity and keep many businesses from reopening, include the following:
In mid-September, when a federal judge ruled that many of Wolfs pandemic shutdown orders were unconstitutional, Wolf declared he would not heed the ruling, and attacked Trump and the states Republican legislators. On Oct. 1, a federal appellate court allowed the gathering limits to remain in place during appeal.
This strident, authoritarian, my-way-or-the-highway attitude exhibited by Wolf and his fellow governors in the previously mentioned states has injected unprecedented discouragement, uncertainty, and malaise into their respective business climates, while leaving millions of their citizens in serious economic pain. That most of the rest of the U.S. economy is recovering far more robustly is a testament to the fact that Trump hasnt caused the lagging states woes.
The Alabama County I live in (Cullman) posted a 3.6% unemployment rate for August - 2nd lowest in the state.
You aren’t hearing it much on TV, but I think people are beginning to thoroughly hate their DemocRAT taskmasters. Even Pelosi’s own party members are staging a mutiny against her refusal to be reasonable about passing additional stimulus. I think Trump is going to overwhelm Biden with a tsunami. I only pray that we take the House and Senate, then a whole lot can be fixed.
Here in SoCal I am witnessing the New Normal. The freeways are still empty, there is NO rush hour traffic in the morning, a little in the afternoon, but it is like Driving in the 70’s all over again. What took 1 1/2 hours 6 months ago, now takes 25 minutes to drive. I do NOT see it coming back in the foreseeable future, California is DEAD, most just don’t know it yet
i feel like Nevada was not killed by lockdowns, but by having an economy so dependent on travel, when major big-money states like New York prohibited travel for so long.
“California is DEAD, most just dont know it yet”
This is why each state should have a law requiring a waiting period to vote when you move into the state. You can vote in the national election, but you have to wait 6 years before voting in state and local elections.
Same here in the Bay Area
States that DID NOT VOTE DEMOCRAT are OPEN AND THRIVING while blue states experience further economic destruction.
And their people remain locked in their homes, with nowhere to go, unable to attend church services, and while most businesses are ORDERED to remain closed, or barely open (loads of restrictions).
Let that sink in.
Except gas is about a zillion times more expensive. BTW. its $1.97 here in Tucson! Saw a $1.93 spot too. Not too shabby even for our Guv.
Traffic in the suburbs east of Phoenix is back to normal.
There is a factor that you have not factored in re the lack of traffic.
There are tons of people in California working from their homes.
Also, many if not most California college students are at home taking classes online.
Basically no K-12 students are in classes except expensive private ones. They are home schooling. So no traffic for/from school kids..
Cal State closed its dorms and classrooms this September, and every class is online. One of our gk’s is a student at a Cal State, and he had his parents take his vehicle home. He is living in a home at the college town with 3 friends). They only used their vehicles to get to classes. Now, they have no need for a vehicle.
My wife and I are in our 80’s and are basically shutin due the CV19 restrictions. I have filled my Ridgeline’s gas tank once since the shutdown and still have over 3/4 of a tank of gas.
We have filled my wife’s Lexus twice with 1/2 tanks of gas each time since March. Her one+ year old battery died. AAA replaced it and said we needed to drive her Lexus and my Ridgeline a couple of times a week and not just a 2 mile round trip to pickup a grocery order.
3 out of 4 grocery orders are home delivered to us in 2-4 hours. Our local Walmart will start 2 hour delivery next week.
A DIL is running her dance classes for adults online and she has partnered with two other ladies with a online clothing store.
A family across the street has 5 adult kids, 3 are working at home, and two are online college kids.
We “go to our church” online.
A good friend of my wife’s bridge group and MahJong are on line twice a month.
A friend has a niece moving into our city soon. The niece’s husband is a tech weenie for a major corporation and hates the Sillycon valley area. He had a job offer in Austin. His company here wanted him to stay with them, and they will let him work anywhere. So they picked our town since his wife’s aunt lives here. He is getting some type of financial help from his current current company for their move.
The biggest vehicle traffic we have in our city are delivery trucks bringing in food and other home supplies.
Next are the guys doing construction. Seems like about every other home is having some major work done. Fortunately we had our work done before the CV 19 hit.
That is why they are being kept locked down and everyone knows it.
I don’t know about that. I recently drove from Las Vegas to Ventura. Once out of Barstow on the 15 it was nothing but stop and go until I hit the 134 cutoff. Then clear sailing to the 101 and home. A trip that usually takes 4 1/2 hours took over 5 1/2 hours.
Unemployment rates in parts of NYS are way higher than that 12.5%.
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