Republican-led states are winning in economic recovery from COVID: report
Studies show residents and companies are fleeing states run by Democrats
Red states have bounced back from the economic havoc wreaked by the COVID-19 pandemic faster than states run by Democrats, according to a new report.
Citing federal data and an array of studies, The Wall Street Journal reported that Republican-led states are "winning" the economic recovery in several measures.
The Journal pointed to a Brookings Institution analysis of Labor Department data showing that red states have added 341,000 jobs since February 2020, the month before shutdowns began, while blue states were still down 1.3 million jobs as of May of this year.
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Another study by Moody's also confirmed the flight from blue states, showing the states that grew the most in population were nearly all red, starting with Florida, Texas and North Carolina. The states that saw the largest number of citizens flee were almost all blue, with California at the top of the list, followed by New York and Illinois.
An analysis by the American Enterprise Institute indicated that many who moved during the great pandemic migration were seeking a lower cost of living and lower taxes. Four of the states in the top ten that gained the most new residents were Florida, Nevada, Texas and Tennessee – all of which have no income tax. The average tax rate of the ten states that lost the most residents is 8%.
It's not just individuals who have made cross-country moves since the pandemic hit. Companies, many of which have shifted to remote or hybrid work models, are also leaving expensive metropolitan areas in blue states for more tax-friendly environments.
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Billionaire Ken Griffin announced last month that he will be moving his hedge fund Citadel's headquarters from its longtime home in Democratic stronghold Illinois to GOP-run Florida. Construction equipment giant Caterpillar is also leaving Illinois, headed for the red state of Texas.
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Republican-led Tennessee is also a noteworthy beneficiary of the post-COVID economy. According to federal data analyzed by The Journal, the state led the U.S. in economic growth last year, its workers saw some of the largest wage gains, and it hit 3.2% unemployment in April – the lowest in the state's history.