State-by-State: Employment

  • Average Employment during the three months through October was 6.9% below the same three months one year ago.
  • Monthly Employment, while 6.2% below the year-ago level, is in its sixth month of rise off an April low. Rise is likely to persist into at least the first half of 2021 as the macroeconomy recovers.
  • Annual Employment through September was below the year-ago level in all 50 states. Employment posted the mildest contraction in Utah (-0.2), Idaho (-0.5), and Arizona (-0.9).
  • Hawaii (-8.8%), New York State (-7.3%), Vermont (-7.5%), and Michigan (-7.2%) posted the steepest year-over-year Employment contraction in September.

Reader's Forum

What would be the cost of shutting down the economy again?

Lauren Stockli, Economist at ITR Economics™, answers:

We appreciate your question. The prospect of a return to early-2020-type shutdowns is indeed ominous. It is unlikely that the current administration would impose a nationwide mandate. However, a recent spike in COVID-19 cases has already resulted in governors setting crowd-curbing restrictions in states such as Michigan, impacting bars, restaurants, and movie theaters. With the holiday season approaching, cases are likely to spike further. If widespread restrictions are implemented in the consumer space, we may see a delayed recovery for the US economy. If there is a move toward a full shutdown, a sizeable downgrade to our economic outlook would be in order. At present, the exact impact is unclear, especially with the potential for new stimulus in the mix. Keep in mind that such decisions are not economic in nature and are largely out of our control. Ensure you have plans in case the above scenario does occur, but focus your attention on what you can control – pursuing current opportunities in the economy. Leading indicators signal activity will continue to pick up into the first half of 2021.

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