Lockdown and Impact on Unemployment

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This paper is a review of previously collected data on the impact of the Lockdown on the United States and what lessons we should learn. We reviewed data comparing States with Republican governors (designated as Red States) and Democratic governors (designated as Blue states) as well lockdown and non-lockdown states.

Every week, we have kept a running tab on percentage of unemployment claims, unemployment of the working population, death per capita and total deaths. In addition, Wilfred Reilly did two studies on the impact of the lockdowns both on number of cases and deaths along with impact on unemployment. Professor Reilly conducted a study earlier in April that questioned the effectiveness of the lockdown and in his two studies for the Foundation, he followed up to see the impact of the Lockdown four months later plus comparisons between Red states and Blue states, including Blacks and Hispanics.

Death and Economics

On a weekly basis, we kept tab on monthly unemployment numbers and weekly unemployment claims report. Going into October, the average unemployment of Red States was 6.5 and 4.2 percent of the working population were on unemployment claims vs. 8.5 unemployment for Blue States with 6.7 percent of civilian working population collecting unemployment claims. (unemployment numbers based on August numbers and claims based on September numbers.)

Our recent weekly data saw that nearly 129,000 died of Covid in blue states for an average of 4800 deaths per Blue states vs. 95,000 deaths and an average of 3400 deaths per state in Blue states going into November.

Blue states averaged 586 deaths per capita while Red States averaged 477 deaths per million. What we have seen that throughout the pandemic, Democrats governors on the average restricted economy activities more often as an effort to reduce the infections but they fail to stem death to Wuhan virus (Covid-19) compared to Red States and their unemployment shows they not only saw higher unemployment, they failed at protecting their citizens from the Corona virus.

Unemployment dropped from 14.7 percent in April to the present 7.9. In 1957, flu pandemic killed 100,000 to 115,000 and this would be on a per capita basis today between 160, 000 to 230,000, similar to Corona virus lethality. 1950’s was a decade of high tax rates with the highest at 90 percent and there was three recession from 1949 to 1960. Feds tighten monetary policy in 1957, but the pandemic certainly had an effect. It is hard to detect what impact the pandemic had on in causing the recession and what impact government policies had. Trying to figure out what caused the economic downturn is not so simple but a pandemic that killed the equivalent of 200,000 today certainly had an impact. The last quarter of the 1957 saw a drop of minus 4 percent and minus 10 percent in the first quarter of 1958. In spring of 1957, unemployment was 3.7 percent before hitting 5.2% at the end of the year and peaking at 7.5% in July of 1958. It dropped to 6.2% in December 1958. The third and fourth quarter of 1958, surged back to 10% growth and GDP overall decline was less than 1% so there was a strong recovery that could be classify as a V-shape recovery in the second half of 1958.

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