Research / Industry & Commerce


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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Policy Analysis | March 2021

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 on public health and global commerce remains unknown, the profound economic shocks experienced beginning in March 2020, with widespread business closures and restrictions on movement, are expected to reverberate in 2021 and, possibly, beyond. In October, the World Trade Organization (WTO) reported that global merchandise trade declined 14.3 percent between the second quarters of 2019 and 2020, the largest quarter-on-quarter drop ever. Global trade for all of 2020, the WTO estimated, declined 9.2 percent, while global GDP decreased 4.8 percent.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 and, particularly, trade in the SLC region. The data includes export and import data for the following periods:

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Webinar | March 2021

COVID-19 and American Agriculture II: Agricultural Response and Outlook

Nick Bowman

Like all sectors of the American economy, the agriculture sector has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of the largest purchasers of agricultural products—including restaurants, schools and hotels—have closed or operated at limited capacity for nearly a year due to the pandemic. Farmers and ranchers have had to adjust their methods to meet these new trends. This program provides an update on how the agriculture sector is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and the outlook for American farmers.

Presentations:

Allison Crittenden, Director, Congressional Relations, American Farm Bureau Federation, Washington, D.C.
Michael Nepveux, Economist, American Farm Bureau Federation, 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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