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COVID-19

Unchanged Initial Unemployment Claims Means Economic Stagnation

With almost no change in the number of initial unemployment claims over last week, some state economies may be worse off this week than last. Several southern and western states have realized rises in COVID-19 cases, and a few states are reinstating measures to limit its spread. These efforts, combined with employees contracting or quarantining due to COVID-19 exposure, is hampering employers in hiring back furloughed employees.

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Unemployment Claims Flat as Economies Reopen Without Hiring

As states continue to lift restrictions on businesses, hiring is stagnant, even though spending is increasing somewhat. According to Chetty et al. (2020)1, until high-income households emerge from isolation and resume spending at pre-pandemic levels employment will not grow significantly. New COVID-19 hotspots throughout the country further complicate the situation as workers seek assistance while they quarantine and/or recover.

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Angie's announcement

Today Heartland Forward announced additional investments in its programming efforts, including the creation of a chief program officer role, underscoring the "do" in its mission as a "think and do" tank.

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Pandemic Unemployment Persists, even as States Continue to Loosen Restrictions

Businesses continue to face challenges to increasing production, sales and employment levels, and rising COVID-19 cases in many places across the country further complicate these processes (e.g., workers having to quarantine after exposure, limiting available workers).

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States Expand Economic Reopening but Unemployment Persists

Rising COVID-19 cases and safety requirements, supply chain issues, and childcare issues are some of the factors making it difficult for businesses to return to pre-pandemic production and employment levels. The worst-hit states continue to be those dependent on tourism and manufacturing.

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We support our fellow citizens who are using their voices to speak out for change

Message from Heartland Forward's President and CEO - Ross DeVol

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Despite Reopening Economies, Insured Unemployment Rates Rise in 13 States

As states continue to reopen their economies, insured unemployment rates fell in 37 states, indicating that fewer workers are receiving unemployment insurance benefits. However, 13 states saw their insured unemployment rate increase, and factors like limited capacity requirements at restaurants and retailers, consumer fears, and supply chain disruptions continued to weigh down employment growth.

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Return of Employment Slow, Millions Still Seek Unemployment Assistance

This week’s report revealed that roughly 1.9 million initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed the week ending May 23, 2020. An additional 1.2 million claims were filed for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

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As Economies Reopen, Insured Unemployment Rate Falls in 32 States

This week’s report revealed that nearly 2.44 million initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed the week ending May 16, 2020. An additional 2.23 million initial claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which covers self-employed, contract and part-time workers. Thirty-two states saw their insured unemployment rates drop.

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Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Continue Rise as States Catch Up; Continued Claims Fall in Some States

This week’s report revealed that nearly 2.98 million initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed the week ending May 9, 2020. Nineteen states saw their continued claims fall, suggesting that people may be going back to work in those states.

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Rise in Unemployment Insurance Claims Moderating, Foreshadows Record Job Losses

This week’s report revealed that nearly 3.17 million initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed the week ending May 2, 2020, suggesting that tomorrow’s release of the April jobs report will reveal record job losses. Only 6 states realized an increase in initial claims, and these increases were much lower than in previous weeks ranging from 3,125 to 27,337.

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Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force

This industry-specific platform provides a single source for recommendations on how you can help the Arkansas economy recover from the effects of COVID-19. The information provided here is based on science, data, and the decision making of our state leaders and industry experts. Working smart, safe, and together makes Arkansas Ready for Business.

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COVID-19 Consequences for Manufacturing

Manufacturing faces increased job losses due to COVID-19, but this presents the industry an opportunity to re-evaluate supply chains, introduce new products, and innovate – to leverage the Heartland’s resources and build resilient economies.

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Unemployment Continues to Rise, Recovery Seems Elusive

Initial unemployment claims continue to rise, though at a slower rate for the 3rd week in a row. Enhanced unemployment benefits pose a challenge to reopening the economy.

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Insured Unemployment Rates Chart Progress in Reopening States’ Economies

In addition to our analysis on initial and cumulative unemployment insurance claims by state, we introduce analysis on insured unemployment rates by state to better monitor responses to states that are reopening their economies.

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Michigan’s Economy Derailed and Underlying Health Conditions Exacerbated by COVID-19

New weekly unemployment insurance claims continue to moderate, but remain at levels unseen before the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, new claims filed since March 1st are now above 20 percent of pre-outbreak employment in some states.


Michigan has been hit particularly hard, with the worst mortality rate in the country and the second-worst share of pre-outbreak employment that have filed unemployment insurance claims.

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COVID-19 Exposes the Heartland’s Digital Divide

Because of the digital divide, not all parts of U.S. have benefited from the utility of broadband connectivity during the coronavirus pandemic

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Louisiana in the Bullseye of the COVID-19 Economic Crisis

New weekly unemployment insurance claims have come down slightly from last week's record-setting levels. Looking at the unemployment insurance data and data on confirmed COVID-19 cases, Louisiana is being severely impacted from both a health and economic perspective.

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Another Record-breaking Week for Unemployment Claims as Coronavirus Fallout Continues

New unemployment insurance claims rose again for the U.S. and most states, as the fallout from the coronavirus continues.

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Coronavirus Hits Already-Vulnerable Heartland Oil And Gas Industries Hard

Ross DeVol
The most extensive negative consequences of COVID-19 on the Heartland will be attributable to the related, but indirect impacts, of reduced oil and gas exploration and extraction operations

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Heartland Travel Hubs Face Economic Fall-out from COVID-19

The Heartland is home to a significant portion of the United State’s airlines and aerospace manufacturing. Given the huge drop-off in airline travel and the significant role that travel, tourism, airlines, and aerospace manufacturing play in the Heartland's economy, we wanted to dive into this area further.

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COVID-19 Impacts Lead to Record-setting Rise in Unemployment Claims

The economic slowdown resulting from the coronavirus outbreak has led to massive increases in new unemployment insurance claims

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Coronavirus Regional Economic Impacts and Policy Responses

How COVID-19 will impact communities in the Heartland and beyond, and how policymakers can respond

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Unemployment Claims Predict Future Economic Impacts of COVID-19

Recent federal changes to the unemployment insurance (UI) program authorized employee eligibility under certain conditions related to COVID-19

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Millennials Find New Hope In The Heartland

The contributors address a fundamental topic for future economic success
in the Heartland: Will Millennials return and remain at higher rates?

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Navigating the Coronavirus Outbreak: How a Chinese Economic Slowdown Could Impact a Vulnerable Heartland Trucking Industry

How a Chinese economic slowdown could impact a vulnerable Heartland trucking industry

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