When the Labor Department reported 140,000 job losses in December, more than 60% of those lost jobs were in California and New York. In the same month, South Dakota’s unemployment rate declined to 3%, lower than before the pandemic started, and the state ended the year with a budget surplus. Realtors have since reported significant upticks in people looking to relocate to South Dakota, resulting in higher home values and a seller’s market.
Despite major hits to the tourism and hospitality industry, Florida has kept employment in line with the federal average, and its economic recovery continues to move in the right direction. The Sunshine State also has more than 1 million senior citizens vaccinated. According to Gov. Ron DeSantis, Florida is “No. 1 in the country among the top 10 most populous states for vaccine doses per capita.”
Disney is even considering moving some of its operations from California to Florida, where the business climate is more open to keeping costs down and people employed. When people move their homes and major companies move their operations, it’s evidence that the economic consequences of the pandemic are much larger than unemployment rising and falling — we are witnessing a permanent shift in the long-term tax revenue and economic strength of these states.