Red states are currently leading the nation for economic recovery following the COVID-19 lockdown-induced recession.
The Back-to-Normal Index which is a project of the Moody Analytics group and CNN Business, reports that those states which either avoided or soon removed aggressive coronavirus responses are outperforming states which lingered or delayed reopening.
South Dakota and Florida’s economies are currently performing at 106% and 101% respectively of their pre-COVID strength. Other states such as Nebraska and Idaho have returned to 100% economic functionality compared with their pre-pandemic condition and other top states for economic recovery include West Virginia at 98%, Nevada, Montana, and Iowa at 97% and Arizona at 96%.
Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota didn’t give any lockdown order in the spring of 2020, and her state ranked fourth, in a tie with Idaho, for the highest state-to-state migration destination.
In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis was one of the first to end the state’s pandemic restrictions, a move for which even Florida Democrats gave him high praise.
DeSantis said in August that “We will never do. . . these lockdowns again.” He added that he’d heard rumors of shutting down the entire country, “honestly, I cringe,” he said. DeSantis also said that the lockdown was only meant to “delay. . . not reduce ultimate mortality,” and warned that lockdowns “create a lot of other problems. . . that a lot of people don’t. . . focus on.”
Meanwhile, states which were aggressive with their lockdowns are at the back of the list for economic recovery. New York, one of the bluest states in the union, lags behind at 79% of economic recovery. Other Democrat run states such as Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Oregon, make up the bottom of the list.
While Rhode Island is largely controlled by Democrats, it was one of the first in the Northeastern region to scale back its pandemic restrictions. Then-Governor Gina Raimondo, who now serves as the Secretary of Commerce for the Biden administration said that she led her state “from a position of confidence,” and placed “trust in the people” of her state.
Similar trends are reflected in these states’ unemployment rates. CNN Business data reveals that states such as Nebraska and South Dakota enjoy unemployment of 2.8%, while blue states such as New York, Connecticut, California, and Hawaii are experiencing 8% unemployment with slow recovery.
Author: Amanda Garner