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Red States Lead Post Pandemic Job Recovery and Destinations People Are Moving

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Red states have led the way out of the COVID-19 pandemic now employing more people overall than prior to the shutdowns.

“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,” Josh Mitchell with The Wall Street Journal reported.

“Red states have added 341,000 jobs over that time, while blue states were still short 1.3 million jobs as of May,” Mitchell added.

Of the top ten states with the lowest unemployment rates, all but two, Minnesota and Kansas, have Republican governors.

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Mitchell also highlighted that 46 million people have moved to different zip codes during the 12-month period from February 2021 to February 2022, which was the highest number dating back to 2010.

“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,” according to Mitchell.

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Bloomberg reported the long-term exodus out of California accelerated during the pandemic.

The top destinations were from California to Texas, Washington, Florida and Virginia.

The states that saw the largest increase percentage in population in 2021 were mostly out West and off the coast. They included Idaho, Utah, Montana and Arizona, according to Deseret News.

While President Joe Biden narrowly defeated former President Donald Trump in the Grand Canyon State, it does have a Republican governor and GOP-controlled legislature and did not impose severe, long-term pandemic lockdowns.

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“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, told the Journal.

“Individuals were choosing where to live,” Camacho added, instead of following their jobs.

Mitchell highlighted the states that gained the most in new residents share a common trait of having low to no income tax.

“The states that gained the most migrants levied an average maximum income-tax rate of 3.8 percent on individuals,” he wrote. “Four — Florida, Texas, Tennessee and Nevada — charged no income tax at all. The 10 states that lost the most residents to moves have an average tax rate of 8.0 percent.”

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