The number of new jobless claims reported last week shocked economists and it turns out the trend was pushed by blue states.
A Department of Labor report showed that “in the week ending June 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 412,000, an increase of 37,000 from the previous week’s revised level.” The figure exceeded economists’ forecasts by nearly 15%.
The data also reveal that two blue states essentially accounted for — and slightly exceeded — the nation’s net increase. Indeed, Pennsylvania and California alone produced 21,590 and 15,712 new unemployment benefits requests.
The two states — which currently rank 43rd and 42nd in economic recovery following particularly aggressive lockdown policies — continue to greenlight enhanced federal unemployment benefits. Other states that are still offering enhanced benefits likewise saw rises in joblessness.
Kentucky — under the leadership of Gov. Andy Beshear (D-KY) — followed Pennsylvania and California with 9,127 jobless claims. Despite pleas from business owners, the Democratic governor currently does not plan to nix the higher benefits. Likewise, Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI) — despite Wisconsin’s 1,339 new claims — defended the state’s continual offering of enhanced unemployment insurance.
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