Why do blue states have more unemployment than red states?

NOTE: At some point, before bed, I read through 50+ news sources and share my findings here. If you like it, share it. If you don’t, share it. Follow my blog now to support my work or to find new reasons to complain about it. My opinions are my own. All tips are welcome. And if you have not already, help spread the message that people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

So, this bit of data in Daily Mail was very interesting to me as it is something I don’t hear in the mainstream media, with the exception of Fox News. Here is a quote.

States that voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election experienced significantly larger declines in total employment during the pandemic than those that went for Donald Trump, a new analysis shows.

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 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.

On the other end of the spectrum, 13 of the 14 states with the most significant pandemic job losses went for the Democratic candidate, led by Nevada with job losses of 10.2 percent, and Hawaii at 9.3 percent.

Wow. That is certainly illuminating. If it is true, and I have no reason to think otherwise, there would be some corroborating data from other sources. So, I took a look and found the following.

Here is a quote from Reason

For Harris, the economic wreckage from this borderless virus was self-evidently a federal issue. “The American Rescue Plan addresses these urgent challenges,” she tweeted February 16. “It’s time for Congress to act.”

But a closer look at state-by-state unemployment numbers reveals not uniform damage but striking variation. And the determining factor seems to have less to do with the pathogen and more to do with politics.

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.

And here is some info from UnemploymentData.com which evaluated unemployment rates back in 2017. I looked there because I wanted to see if there was any consistency over the years. And yes, there seemed to be. The lowest unemployment was once again – Republican states.

As illuminating as that is, there is a compelling argument to be made that while Republicans do best on the state level, on a federal level, Democratic presidents take the prize when lowering unemployment. When you look at the unemployment rate by President and Party, you get the chart below.

If you want to get more granular, look at this data from HistoryInPieces. It shows the rate of USA unemployment from 1948 – 2020. In a nutshell, Lyndon Johnson (D) had the lowest average unemployment rate across his presidency at 4.2 percent. Of the presidencies that have concluded, Gerald Ford’s (R) saw the highest average unemployment rate at over 7.8 percent, followed closely by Ronald Reagan (R) at over 7.5 percent. (Also notable, check out the 2.5% unemployment rate under Trump (R) prior to Covid-19 and the 12.5% after it hit, towards the end of his presidency.)

So, what does this tell me? Perhaps if we want a great economy, Republicans should run the states and Democrats run the White House? I’m not sure. When Bill Clinton was the President, the Congress was overwhelmingly Republican. When Ronald Reagan was in charge, Republicans controlled the Senate and the Democrats the House of Representatives. However, before Reagan left office, Democrats controlled the House and Senate. Maybe the best way to insure low unemployment is one party in the white house and the other controlling the Congress. As to which is best where, that’s something that can be argued ad nauseum. What is clear to me though is this, if an American Eagle is to fly, you’ll need both a left wing and a right wing.

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