Close Close

Regulation and Compliance > State Regulation

State COVID-19 Job Loss Ratios Vary Widely: Researcher

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

U.S. COVID-19 control lockdowns cost about 480 jobs, through April 24, for every pandemic-related death recorded up to that date, according to John McGowan.

The number of jobs lost per pandemic-related death ranged from 71, in New York state, up to 9,183, in Hawaii, with a median around 1,800, McGowan reports ,in a table in a new working paper.

McGowan is an accounting professor at St. Louis University. He calculated state-by-state ratios of COVID-19-related job losses to COVID-19 deaths to support an analysis of the conflict over reopening strategies between states that tend to vote for Democrats and states that tend to vote for Republicans.


McGowan supports aggressive efforts to reopen the economy. He contends that, according to data reported through April 24. “Red states” had experienced only 12% of all COVID-19 deaths reported and about 45% of the lockdown-related job losses.

A working paper is a paper that has not yet gone through a full peer review process. McGowan has posted his working paper on, a social services research paper repository.

McGowan classifies both Hawaii, the state with the highest number of job losses per COVID-19 death through April 24, and New York state, the state with the lowest ratio, as blue states.

But the 10 states with the lowest ratios of job losses to deaths are all blue states, and eight of the 10 states with the highest ratios are red states, according to McGowan’s analysis.

“These figures provide a compelling economic argument for the case that policy makers in red states are more than justified to pursue economic reopening policies,” McGowan writes. “They have been bearing a disproportionate weight of job losses relative to COVID-19 deaths.”

— Read The New COVID-19 Death Snapshoton ThinkAdvisor.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on FacebookLinkedIn and Twitter.