Research / Industry & Commerce


Policy Analysis | September 2020

Unemployment in the SLC Region Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Roger Moore

Last updated: September 10, 2020 (next update: September 25, 2020)

Disclaimer: The research presented draws upon statistics used by the U.S. Department of Labor to monitor weekly unemployment data. Many concerns have been raised regarding states' difficulties processing the large and sudden influx of unemployment insurance claims following restrictions that were enacted beginning in mid-March to stop the spread of COVID-19. This SLC Policy Analysis does not address these concerns and utilizes only the data compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor. For more information about what actions state unemployment agencies are taking in response to the coronavirus, see the SLC Policy Analysis "Coronavirus Response at State Unemployment Agencies."

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Policy Analysis | September 2020

Trade in the SLC Region Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Roger Moore

The COVID-19 pandemic upended global economic activity in the first quarter of 2020. Although the long-term impact of the pandemic remains unknown, the profound economic shocks experienced beginning in March, with widespread business closures and restrictions on movement, are expected to reverberate into 2021 and, possibly, beyond. In April, at the height of the pandemic, the World Trade Organization predicted that international trade could contract anywhere between 13 percent and 32 percent in 2020, as the flow of goods ground to a halt.1

By highlighting export and import data, as reported monthly by the U.S. Census Bureau, this SLC Policy Analysis depicts how the pandemic has impacted the U.S. economy. The data includes:

  1. Bi-monthly changes in imports and exports from July 2019 through January 2020;
  2. Bi-monthly changes in imports and exports from the beginning of 2020 until the most recent month for which data is available, currently July 2020; and
  3. Year-over-year changes in imports and exports during the most recent month for which data is available, currently July 2020.

Importantly, the monthly data provided by the Census Bureau only includes commodities. Exports and imports of services – such as travel and transportation, telecommunications, financial services and cultural activities, to name a few – are not included in the monthly data sets. Services account for a significant share of overall U.S. economic activity and have similarly been affected by the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.2

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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
Policy Analyst


The SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee examines issues related to infrastructure, 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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