Research / Economic Development


Policy Analysis | March 2021

Unemployment in the SLC Region Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Roger Moore

Disclaimer: On November 30, 2020, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the U.S. Department of Labor inaccurately reported the number of people filing for unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Due to the historic number of individuals filing for benefits beginning in March 2020, and states' frequent backlogs processing the claims, the traditional method of reporting unemployment did not accurately capture the number of unique individuals claiming benefits, according to the GAO report. For example, if a person filed for five weeks of benefits in a given week, the Department of Labor typically counted it as five separate claimants, not one. This method of reporting normally is a reliable proxy for the number of unique individuals claiming benefits, but it did not account for states' processing delays and claimants retroactively applying for benefits during the pandemic. While the absolute figures may not be accurate, the trend levels remain helpful for understanding the overall employment outlook.

This SLC Policy Analysis was concluded on March 26, 2021. For additional information regarding the Department of Labor data, please contact Roger Moore at rmoore@csg.org.

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Webinar | March 2021

Utilizing Workshare Programs During Economic Downturns

Roger Moore

Workshare programs, also known as short-time compensation, allow businesses to temporarily reduce employees' hours, rather than resorting to layoffs, during economic downturns. Approved workshare programs allow employees to qualify for a percentage of unemployment benefits, determined by the amount of time their hours have been cut. Designed to reduce overall unemployment, worksharing has the potential to benefit businesses and workers, while also supporting state unemployment coffers by reducing the total amount paid toward unemployment claims. Currently, more than two dozen states have approved workshare programs. This virtual program provides an overview of worksharing, how it has been used during the current economic downturn, and what actions states can take to utilize such programs in the future.

Presentations:

Keerthi Sugumaran, Attorney at Law, Jackson Lewis P.C., Boston.


SLC Fiscal Affairs and Government Operations Committee Virtual Program
Webinar | August 2020

New and Expanded Revenue Streams

Cody Allen

SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee Virtual Program

Presiding Officer: Representative Penny Houston, Georgia; Chair, SLC Fiscal Affairs & Government Operations Committee

As advances in technology both create new and reshape existing markets, states are looking to regulate and tax these emerging business models. These include digital streaming services, electronic goods, ridesharing services and short-term rentals, among others. With consumers shifting to embrace this new economy, and the market for digital goods and services growing exponentially, these emerging markets are replacing prior, and broadening existing, sources of state revenue. This program highlights how states' efforts to tax these new revenue sources and the economic impact these emerging markets could have on the Southern region. With the COVID-19 pandemic contributing to a significant economic downturn, supplementing existing revenues will be a necessary tool for policymakers facing possible budget reductions in fiscal year 2021 and beyond.

Presentation:

Brian Sigritz, Director of State Fiscal Studies, National Association of State Budget Officers, Washington, D.C.

2020-2021
Chair

Representative
Manly Barton

Mississippi

2020-2021
Vice Chair

Representative
Nathaniel Ledbetter

Alabama

Immediate
Past Chair

Representative
Jeanie Lauer

Missouri

Committee
Liaison
Roger Moore

Roger Moore
Senior Policy Analyst


The SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee examines issues related to infrastructure, transportation, economic progress and cultural strengths in the Southern region. Discussions and reports of the committee have focused on Southern state actions to bring manufacturing operations of national and foreign companies to the region, as well as the importance of ports, roads and railways for the movement of manufactured goods. The committee has a long history of studying the impact of the Panama Canal expansion and international trade with Mexico, Canada and China on Southern state economies.

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