Unemployment has risen sharply in lockdown states. Countries that waived a lockdown are much better off – the corona numbers, however, are comparable for both groups.
After a year of lockdown or not, the US Department of Labor has now published new unemployment figures for the individual states that show a very clear trend: states with fewer strict corona policies have significantly lower unemployment rates.
Lockdown states like California and New York are struggling with unemployment rates around 8% – before Corona it was less than 4% in both. Among those with the lowest unemployment rate, there are many states with a less restrictive corona policy. The list is headed by South Dakota, Utah and Nebraska, which show hardly any changes to the corona-free data from the previous year. Florida, which has been criticized for its lax behavior, ranks 17th out of the 50 US states. From those around Governor Ron DeSantis (Republican) they say that he only regrets “that we have ever imposed a lockdown for a day” (Florida had a brief lockdown for a few weeks in April 2020).
There are a few exceptions to the trend, such as Texas, which is still struggling with an unemployment rate of 6.9%, an increase of almost 3.5%. The trend is otherwise noticeable. But above all, US statistics show the advantages of federalism, where the states are considered “laboratories of democracy”, and politics can be tried out here on a small scale and each state can decide which path it wants to go.
Meanwhile, the corona numbers in Texas, which a few weeks ago completely lifted the lockdown including the mask requirement, are still at a very low level, and there is no trace of a new wave.