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The Blue State Depression

Stephen Moore and Erwin Antoni, Committee to Unleash Prosperity

The new Department of Labor employment data confirms that when it comes to the economy, America is on two divergent paths. Blue states are losing jobs at record pace and red states are gaining them.

Ten states now had unemployment rates in May above 15 percent.  They are all states with liberal  governors. Ranked from highest to lowest they are Nevada 25.3%, Hawaii (22.6%), Michigan (21.2%), California (16.3%), Rhode Island (16.3%), Massachusetts (16.3%), Delaware (15.8%), Illinois (15.2%), New Jersey (15.2%), Washington (15.1%).

These are all states that have Democratic governors who kept their states locked down – and still are not entirely opened for business.

Nationally the unemployment rate is about three percentage points higher today in blue states than red states. 

The six states with the lowest unemployment rate are all red states – most of which never shutdown at all. These are Nebraska (5.2%), Utah (8.5%), Wyoming (8.8%), Arizona (8.9%), Idaho (8.9%), Montana (9.0%), and North Dakota (9.1%). 

The same pattern holds if we examine the states that saw the biggest INCREASE in unemployment. Some 15 states have seen their unemployment rates rise by more than 10 percentage points from May 2019 to May 2020. Fourteen of the 15 are states with Democratic governors.

This is not a Coronavirus recession. It is a blue state lockdown recession. Liberals say they have shutdown their economies for health reasons, but these are also the states that generally have had the highest death rates and the highest nursing home fatalities. So the blue states have not only failed to keep their citizens safe, they’ve ruined their economies as well. Liberals are promising that if they win, they will make America look more like New Jersey, Washington, and California. God forbid.

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