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Study by WalletHub shows Countless Lost Jobs in the Pandemic

While early lockdowns saved lives, an ongoing study by WalletHub suggests that employment is rebounding more slowly in New York and other states that have maintained COVID-19 solid restrictions than in those that have entirely reopened their economy.

According to the report, limiting travel, keeping restaurants at capacity, and closing non-essential enterprises have put unemployment in New York State among the highest in the country. In contrast, states with fewer restrictions see jobs rebound faster from the pandemic-induced slump. Although the link between lockdowns and stopping the spread of the virus is complicated, data indicate that early shelter-in-place orders reduced COVID-19 death rates.

In May 2020, WalletHub began ranking states’ lockdowns, using a methodology that provides a numerical value to mask laws, large-gathering bans, school closings, “shelter-in-place” restrictions, and other measures undertaken to try to stop the deadly coronavirus from spreading. The rankings did not consider factors such as population density, urban household close quarters, or public transit use, all of which play a role in virus transmission.

With the virus ravaging the New York metro area and more than 1,000 New Yorkers dying per day early in the epidemic, WalletHub ranked New Jersey’s lockdown measures as the strictest in the country, followed by New York. On the other hand, South Dakota, with nearly no limitations, topped the openness rankings, with Utah coming in second.

Neither of those states had had a significant number of cases or deaths from the virus. Researchers at Rice University linked WalletHub lockdown rankings to mortality rates in each state from May 2020 to November 2020. They discovered that near-total lockdowns took a long time to reduce COVID-19 death rates.

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