Biden Job Numbers Death Knell? Red States Are Winning the Post-Pandemic Economy
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JOB ANALYST READY TO RESPOND: Andrew Crapuchettes, is the founder and CEO of RedBalloon, which was founded in 2021 as the solution to the ever-growing problem of government overreach and “cancel culture” invading the American workplace.
The pandemic has changed the geography of the American economy.
By many measures, red states—those that lean Republican—have recovered faster economically than Democratic-leaning blue ones, with workers and employers moving from the coasts to the middle of the country and Florida.
Since February 2020, the month before the pandemic began, the share of all U.S. jobs located in red states has grown by more than half a percentage point, according to an analysis of Labor Department data by the Brookings Institution think tank. Red states have added 341,000 jobs over that time, while blue states were still short 1.3 million jobs as of May.
Several major companies have recently announced moves of their headquarters from blue to red states. Hedge-fund company Citadel said recently it would move its headquarters from Chicago to Miami, and Caterpillar Inc. plans to move from Illinois to Texas.
To track each state’s progress toward normal since the pandemic began, Moody’s Analytics developed an index of 13 metrics, including the value of goods and services produced, employment, retail sales and new-home listings. Eleven of the 15 states with the highest readings through mid-June were red. Eight of the bottom 10 were blue.
Behind those differences is mass migration. Forty-six million people moved to a different ZIP Code in the year through February 2022, the most in any 12-month period in records going back to 2010, according to a Moody’s analysis of Equifax Inc. consumer-credit reports. The states that gained the most, led by Florida, Texas and North Carolina, are almost all red, as defined by the Cook Political Report based on how states voted in the past two presidential elections. The states that lost the most residents are almost all blue, led by California, New York and Illinois.
Analysts who have studied the migration attributed much of it to the pandemic’s severing of the link between geography and the workplace. Remote work allowed many workers to move to red states, not because of political preferences, but for financial and lifestyle reasons—cheaper housing, better weather, less traffic and lower taxes, the analysts said.
There is no data on what role, if any, political preferences have played in migration decisions. Some researchers have reported that pandemic restrictions played a role for some people who moved. It is too early to know whether the Supreme Court decision on abortion also might affect migration patterns.
The movement is already starting to affect state economies and finances. Florida is on track to register a record budget surplus for the fiscal year that ended June 30, which it attributes in part to new residents. The state is putting most of the extra money into a reserve fund to protect state agencies and residents during the next downturn, while investing in school construction and raising teacher pay, a spokeswoman for Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said.
Over the 30 years that preceded the pandemic, globalization and technology had fueled a “knowledge economy” dominated by college graduates who clustered in big city metropolitan areas in the West and Northeast.
Property values soared in those areas, while lagging behind in other areas.
The Covid-19 pandemic changed that dynamic.
“I almost feel like the pandemic differs from any other time I’ve seen. There’s definitely a flight to lifestyle,” said Chris Camacho, chief executive of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, a nonprofit consulting group that receives public and private funding and recruits businesses to Arizona. “Individuals were choosing where to live.”
In a recent survey led by researchers at Stanford University, the University of Chicago and the Mexican university ITAM, about 16% of workers said they plan to stay fully remote, and another 31% plan to adopt a “hybrid” schedule of working in the office part-time and at home the rest. Most of those remote workers are well-paid, white-collar college graduates, according to the research.
“I always had to go to where the job was,” said Sankeerth Bommi, a 40-year-old technology worker from India who emigrated to the U.S. in the early 2000s. When the pandemic hit, Mr. Bommi was living in Los Angeles and commuting to the Pasadena offices of financial-technology company Green Dot Corp., where he is a senior director on a product team. Within weeks, the company told its 900 employees they were free to permanently work from anywhere.
Mr. Bommi moved to Austin, Texas, to be closer to cousins in Oklahoma and Texas, and for cheaper housing. He just bought his first house, where he plans to work once it is built. “This is the first time I’m able to go to the city I really wanted to go to,” he said, as opposed to where his job took him.
In the end, his employer made the same move. The company last year moved its headquarters to Austin, slashing its real-estate and business-travel costs, due to Austin’s central location.
Andrew Crapuchettes is the visionary behind RedBalloon, which is a free speech job site. Like Musk, and others, Andrew is an advocate of free speech and is taking action to combat the left’s censorship and restore freedom. RedBalloon’s mission is to unite a community of businesses and job seekers who value and preserve the freedom to work…
RedBalloon was founded in 2021 as the solution to the ever-growing problem of government overreach and “cancel culture” invading the American workplace. RedBalloonconnects like-minded businesses and Americans who seek the freedom to work without the fear of discrimination against personal beliefs, infringement on constitutional rights, or invasion of medical privacy. We pioneered RedBalloon to honor and celebrate the American liberties that make this country great. We strive to empower employers to preserve these liberties for their workforce, and to place talented Americans into careers that will value their freedom and prioritize their success.
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BIO: Andrew Crapuchettes is the visionary behind RedBalloon. Mr. Crapuchettes has worked in the high-tech industry for over twenty years. He began his career in Silicon Valley, building business process automation and selling 3D modeling software. In 2001, Mr. Crapuchettes became a founding member and later CEO of Emsi, which he transformed from a little-known consulting company of three employees to an international economic data firm with over 250 employees worldwide.
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Andrew Crapuchettes, is the founder and CEO of RedBalloon, which was founded in 2021 as the solution to the ever-growing problem of government overreach and “cancel culture” invading the American workplace.