BENTONVILLE, Ark., April 23, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today Heartland Forward published original analysis that measures the effects of COVID-19 and the economic crisis on each state's workforce, "Insured Unemployment Rates Chart Progress in Reopening States' Economies." Heartland Forward's analysis provides a first-time comprehensive look at how state-level economies are faring by tracking three metrics: total initial unemployment insurance claims, the share of claims per total employment, and the insured unemployment rate (IUR). The research shows that the Heartland has a lower IUR than the rest of the country and may experience a steadier return to normal employment sooner.
"All eyes are on initial claims, but it is crucial to look at how many Americans are continuing to take unemployment benefits each week, and how that maps against the state's total workforce," says Ross DeVol, CEO & President of Heartland Forward. "In an economic crisis as serious as this, the more data the better. We hope these big-picture metrics can inform leaders as they develop smart economic recovery plans."
While initial unemployment claims are an important indicator of immediate changes in the labor force, decreases in IUR can point to a fuller economic recovery. Consistent declines in this measure will indicate that hiring exceeds layoffs and that the economy is in recovery. Florida is the only state with declining insured unemployment rates, suggesting hiring increases. Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Wisconsin are seeing a slowing in the rise of their IUR, suggesting a peak may be on the horizon.
"Each state is uniquely affected by the outbreak, which is why it's so important that we zoom in to the state-level impacts," says Dave Shideler, Heartland Forward's Chief Research Officer. "Layering all three of our primary metrics over the state-by-state data gives us a very detailed picture—one that we believe can contribute to recovery efforts."
Today's analysis builds upon Heartland Forward's Coronavirus Impact Series. You can see these weekly analyses at heartlandforward.org.
About Heartland Forward:
Heartland Forward's mission is to improve economic performance in the center of the United States by advocating for fact-based solutions to foster job creation, knowledge-based and inclusive growth, and improved health outcomes. We conduct independent, data-driven research to facilitate action-oriented discussion and impactful policy recommendations.
SOURCE Heartland Forward