America’s V-shaped recovery continues, but remains an unequal recovery thanks to politics.
As I documented last month, blue states both led the nation in unemployment and were lagging both their red state peers and the nation as a whole in recovering from the pandemic. At that time the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had state unemployment statistics available through August, and had red state unemployment at 6.6% and blue state unemployment at 10.5%. Or in other words, the blue state unemployment rate was 59% higher than the red state unemployment rate.
For the sake of this article, “red states” and “blue states” are being used as synonyms for “states with a Republican governor” and “states with Democrat governors.” While the term is usually used to describe how states vote in presidential elections, they’re being used to describe leadership in this case.
The BLS now has state unemployment data through September, and while blue states have improved, there’s still much progress to be made until they’re on par with even the national average.
According to their data, as of September:
Red states have an unemployment rate of 6.26%
Blue states have an unemployment rate of 8.16%
Blue states have managed to close the gap with their red state peers, but still have unemployment rates 30% higher. Washington D.C., which has an unemployment rate of 8.7%, isn’t included in the comparison.
While blue states managed to close the gap from August to September, that’s likely to reverse as coronavirus cases are on the rise once again. As is already becoming evident, blue state governors are more than happy to mindlessly reimplement the exact same draconian restrictions that destroyed their economies in the first place.