Let’s Reiterate – Louisiana Has America’s Worst Jobs Economy

So says WalletHub, which is doing a weekly survey on jobs, unemployment and the recovery of states’ economies from the damage caused by the COVID-19 shutdowns.

The Bayou State has been the trailer in this survey for quite a while, and nothing much is changing…

Despite the fact that the U.S. is fighting to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, new unemployment claims remained unchanged week-over-week on August 31, and were 87% below the peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help add some context to these statistics, WalletHub just released updated rankings for the States Whose Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest, along with accompanying videos and audio files.

To identify which states’ workforces are experiencing the quickest recovery from COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics based on changes in unemployment claims. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A. To see the states most recovered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Change in Louisiana Weekly Unemployment Claims (1=Quickest Recovery, 25=Avg.):

  • 1,289.78% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs Last Year)
    • 23,390 the week of August 31, 2020 vs 1,683 the week of September 2, 2019
    • The slowest recovery in the U.S.
  • 1,310.74% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs Start of 2020)
    • 23,390 the week of August 31, 2020 vs 1,658 the week of January 1, 2020
    • The slowest recovery in the U.S.
  • 1,832.25% Change in Unemployment Claims (Since Start of COVID-19 Crisis vs Last Year)
    • 956,949 between the week of March 16, 2020 and the week of August 31, 2020 vs 52,228 between the week of March 18, 2019 and the week of September 2, 2019
    • 7th slowest recovery in the U.S.

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:
https://wallethub.com/edu/states-unemployment-claims/72730/.

If you want proof the WalletHub study is legitimate, there was this yesterday

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to adversely impact Louisiana’s employment picture and the state has begun the process to borrow federal dollars to replenish its unemployment trust fund which is expected to run dry later this month.

Ava Dejoie is Secretary of the Louisiana Workforce Commission. She says the demand for jobless benefits remains high.

“Right now, we’re at over 400,000 individuals. We’re also processing disaster unemployment assistance for those individuals that have been impacted by Laura, that have been declared eligible,” Dejoie said.

It has been known for months that the large number of people receiving jobless benefits is depleting the trust fund.

“Currently, we have a balance of a little over $160 million,” said Dejoie.

That is a huge drop compared to the amount of money the trust fund contained before the pandemic hit the U.S.

“This time last year we were at over a billion dollars, so to give you an idea of how much we’ve been spending. In all of last year, we paid out $153 million from the state unemployment insurance trust fund, this year we’ve paid out over a billion dollars,” Dejoie stated.

Louisiana shed so many jobs that the unemployment insurance fund drained out and now the state is going to have to borrow from the federal government to pay benefits.

You would think that might be enough of an emergency that the governor would begin treating the state’s economy as a priority. Instead, John Bel Edwards is doing everything he can to keep the state locked down in Phase 2.

Ultimately, the unemployment problem will go away – but not in the manner anybody wants to see. Ultimately, Louisiana will reduce its unemployed population through outmigration.

Proof of that can be seen in UHaul rates. As we’ve noted, it costs about double to rent a 10-foot UHaul truck in New Orleans, Baton Rouge or Shreveport for dropoff in Houston, Dallas or Austin compared to the reverse. But it isn’t just Texas where the net outmigration is visibly reflected in those rates.

Pick up a 10-foot UHaul truck in New Orleans on Oct. 1 headed for Atlanta, and it’ll cost you $521. The reverse? $399.

From Baton Rouge to Nashville on that date? $689. The reverse? $462. It’s $644 from New Orleans to Nashville and $432 the other way.

From New Orleans to Destin, it’s $396. It’s $223 the other way.

Pick practically any out-of-state place and you will see these large spreads in UHaul rates. That clearly shows there’s a mass exodus coming out of Louisiana. And that’s how the state’s unemployment problem will ultimately get resolved.

But you don’t cure a sick economy through outmigration. You cure it through jobs and economic activity. Louisiana increasingly has neither. And nobody seems to care.

 



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