RALEIGH – While the direct impact of COVID-19 seems to ebb, underwhelming, in North Carolina, the indirect impact from the panicked policies it inspired is still unfolding. Our state, long one of the beacons in the South East for business friendliness and economic performance, is now among the worst in the country when it comes to the unemployment spike.
From the Courier-Tribune:
“[…] WalletHub compared unemployment claims in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. North Carolina saw claims increase:
3,833.57 percent for April, compared with April 2019; and 104,515 the week of April 13, compared with the week of April 15, 2019 — the ninth-highest in the nation;
2,879.33 percent since January; and 104,515 the week of April 13, compared with 3,508 the week of January 1 — the fourth-highest in the nation:
4,497.23 percent since the pandemic started; and 648,320 March 16–April 13, compared with 14,416 March 18–April 15 — the fifth-highest in the nation.
Here’s how the states ranked for overall employment impact from the pandemic, with their ranks for the impact the last full week of April in parentheses:
1. New Hampshire (8)
2. Louisiana (2)
3. Georgia (6)
4. Kentucky (4)
5. North Carolina (7) […]”
One could reasonably assume that North Carolina was hit especially hard by COVID-19, resulting in the relatively heavy economic impact. That may be correct in a sense, but not because the disease itself had a disparate impact among North Carolinians.
No, our state was especially hard hit by destructive and unwarranted statewide shutdown policies spearheaded by Governor Roy Cooper and a public health department that has no business dictating the lives of North Carolinians. It has resulted in over one million first time jobless claims.
Yes, COVID-19 is a unique situation, but it doesn’t mean policymakers are excused from the wrongheadedness of their policy preferences. The reason North Carolina has such an imbalanced economic impact, versus its virus impact, is rightly placed at the feet of Cooper and his lockdown edicts.
Read more about the hardest hit states here.