Report: States with most severe lockdowns show slowest economic recoveries


(The Center Square) — Democrats run nine of the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates, The Wall Street Journal editorial board wrote. These states have implemented the most severe restrictions during their state’s emergency shutdown orders and are showing little-to-no signs of economic recovery.

“States that are reopening faster are recovering faster and easing more economic suffering,” the Journal’s editorial board wrote. “The states that put a premium on trying to reduce the spread beyond the original purpose of protecting hospitals and the health-care system are lagging.”

Compared to the national unemployment rate in May of 13 percent, Nevada’s, run by a Democratic governor, is nearly double at 25.3 percent. Also run by Democratic governors are Hawaii (22.6 percent), Michigan (21.2 percent), California and Rhode Island (16.3 percent), Delaware (15.8 percent), Illinois and New Jersey (15.2 percent), and Washington (15.1 percent).

Unlike other Republican-led states, the outlier among the ten states with the highest unemployment rate is Massachusetts’ 16.3 percent.

By contrast, 9.7 percent of Georgia’s population is unemployed in a state that was heavily criticized for reopening before others. Arkansas’ 9.5 percent jobless rate, along with Arizona’s, Utah’s and Nebraska’s are well below the national average of 13 percent, and all led by Republicans.

“[S]o far these numbers suggest a tale of two U.S. economies,” the editorial board wrote.

According to a WalletHub analysis, states with the fewest coronavirus restrictions are South Dakota, Wisconsin, Utah, South Carolina, North Dakota, Missouri, Iowa, Idaho, Oklahoma and Wyoming.

States with the most restrictions are Vermont, California, Hawaii, New York, Maryland, New Hampshire, Virginia, New Jersey and Colorado.

WalletHub compared 50 states and the District of Columbia across 16 metrics to determine its ranking.

South Dakota has the fewest coronavirus restrictions “because it has issued no COVID-19-related guidance or requirements for assisted living facilities and has completely removed all limitations on large gatherings,” WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez said in a statement. It is one of six states whose government officials didn’t implement shelter-in-place orders and is the only state that didn’t require bars and restaurants to close.

By contrast, New York is one of only nine states that still has some form of quarantine in place. It currently allows gatherings of only 25 people or fewer and recommends workplace temperature screenings, Gonzalez pointed out.

By Bethany Blakely

The Center Square

Bethany Blankley is a contributor to the Center Square.

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