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The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the latest unemployment figures earlier this month. While most of the attention went to the crucial inflation index—which reached a 30-year-high—the data also gives us some important unemployment figures. At a national level, the unemployment rate has decreased to 4.2%, the lowest since Biden took office. Interestingly the BLS data also shows that states with GOP governors have lower unemployment rates than Democratic-led states.
According to the data, the top 10 states with the lower unemployment rate all have something in common: they all have a Republican as governor. Similarly, the 10 states with the highest unemployment rates are all governed by Democrats. This report shows a trend that had already appeared earlier this year when Republican states were more likely to have a quicker job recovery post-pandemic than Democratic states.
States with Republican Governors are more likely to have less unemployment than the national average
The unemployment data from November showed that 19 GOP states (of a total of 27) with have an unemployment rate that is lower than the national average of 4.2%, meaning that 70.3% of these states enjoy lower unemployment than the country. In fact, all 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates in the country have Republican governors: Nebraska, Utah, Oklahoma, Idaho, Vermont, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Georgia, Montana, and Indiana.
Even among those Republican states which are below the national average, most of them—Florida, Arizona, Ohio, Mississippi, and Texas—are within a one-percent of the national average. Just three Republican-led states have an unemployment rate that is at least 1 percentage point higher than the national average, and two of them (Maryland and Massachusetts) have both of their chambers of the legislature dominated by the DNC.
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Curiously, a majority of the states led by GOP governors cut their state unemployment benefits earlier than Democratic states, and many of those states are far below the national unemployment rate average, and some are even recovering their pre-pandemic employment levels.
Right now, 25 states (almost half the country) have an unemployment rate that is below the national average, and out of those only six are led by Democratic governors. Meaning that 76% of states with higher employment in the nation are Republican ones.
Democratic states are more likely to have higher unemployment than the nation
While Americans living in states governed by Republicans would more likely be having a better job market than the nation as a whole, those who live under Democratic governors are experiencing the opposite and they are far more likely to be having a greater unemployment rate than the average American. Seventeen out of the twenty-three Democratic-ruled states (plus the District of Columbia) are experiencing a higher unemployment rate than the national average, meaning that 73.9% of Democratic-led states have less employment than the country as a whole.
The numbers are even worse when we consider that eleven out of those seventeen states have an unemployment rate that is more than one point higher than the national average unemployment rate. Meaning that almost half of the Democratic states are suffering an unemployment rate that is significantly higher than the national average. In fact, nine out of the ten states (plus D.C.) with the worst unemployment numbers in the country have Democratic governors.
California and New York, two of the most populous states that are governed by the Democratic Party, are also among the states with the highest level of unemployment in the country, as the Golden State faces a 6.9% rate. Similarly, New Yorkers are struggling with a 6.6% unemployment rate.
To put these numbers into context, the last time the national unemployment rate was higher than 6.5% nationally was in December 2020. In other words, while the rest of the country moves forwards, New York and California are still stuck almost two years into the pandemic.
President Biden has bragged about the success of his administration over the job recovery numbers in 2021 and, even if that argument was iron-tight, (it isn’t) it appears that Biden owes a large part of that success to Republican governors.
Daniel is a Political Science and Economics student from the University of South Florida. He worked as a congressional intern to Rep. Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) from January to May 2020. He also is the head of international analysis at Politiks // Daniel es un estudiante de Cs Políticas y Economía en la Universidad del Sur de la Florida. Trabajo como pasante legislativo para el Representate Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) desde enero hasta mayo del 2020. Daniel también es el jefe de análisis internacional de Politiks.