By Bob Clark:
Guest opinion for Taxpayer Association of Oregon
The thought occurs, to me, one gross measure of how a state is managing in balancing its economy against the Covid-19 risk of death is to measure the job losses in a state against its Covid-19 deaths.
We are now four months-plus since the inception in the U.S of the Covid-19 virus outbreak. The U.S economy is at a peak in February just prior to the first state-wide shutdowns. By the end of June, employment losses are still extremely high.
The above chart is derived by calculating total job losses by state, using Bureau of Labor statistics data on total employment, per its February 2020 and June 2020 Employment Reports, seasonally adjusted; then taking the total Covid-19 deaths by state (and to date) reported by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for time point July 25, 2020; and then dividing the former by the latter by state.
The state of Hawaii is off the charts, matter of speaking – no doubt rocked by air travel cutbacks and tourism. New Jersey is the lowest state in jobs lost per Covid-19 death.
Oregon is fifth highest in job loss per Covid-19 death. A lot of folks including myself believe Oregon continues to not have the right balancing of economic ease against Covid-19 death prevention.
Given the level of relative economic hardship in Oregon (as measured in the above chart against other U.S states), Oregon’s leadership should seek a broader referral of its management of Covid-19 and perhaps include a vote by the Oregon legislature in the matter of the Governor’s emergency protocols and restrictions.