Data shows red states leading in economic recovery

The top-10 states for jobs recovered and low unemployment are led by Republican governor
One expert KMVT talked to said a major factor is how states chose to respond to COVID-19
Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 5:21 PM MDT
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Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — Data released from the U.S. Department of Labor and the Republican National Committee shows red states are leading the economic recovery from COVID-19.

The top ten states for jobs recovered and low employment rate are led by Republican governors. Governor Little said one of the first things he did when COVID-19 hit was cut spending.

“Other states didn’t do that,” he said. “They continued spending while we are doing tax relief and tax cuts. Other states are in a position where they are probably going to have to raise taxes.”

However, democratic-led states are bringing up the rear in both categories. One expert says a major factor is how states chose to respond to COVID-19.

“The Republican policies have really focused on the idea of recovering economically where democratic policies have really engaged in the fact we are still in the middle of this and we need to mitigate its damage,” said Boise State associate professor Luke Fowler.

When it comes to COVID-19 recovery, blue states overall are doing much better than red states.

“Maybe there are losses in jobs, maybe the governed are having to take care of people right now because they can’t work. But you are also not seeing those situations where ICUs are not being overrun,” said Fowler.

Idaho ranks near the bottom in vaccination and positivity rates, but Governor Little says some of that is due to people in democratic cities and states being more tolerable of big government policies.

“We in the west and particularly in Idaho, we are always individual liberty, individual responsibility. Not government controlling things,” he said.

Fowler also says also geography plays a factor as densely populated cities and states are traditionally led by Democrats whereas rural, spacious cities and states are led by Republicans.

“So certainly that is a trend that is going on that is really important is that this disease has hit big cities hardest, and those big cities tend to be in blue states and led by Democratic governors,” said Fowler. But in the end, he thinks everything will balance itself out.

“Personally I think Democrat and Republican states are taking different pathways to end up in the same place, and when we look at this in 20 years there is not going to be that much difference between them,” Fowler elaborated.

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