Research / Workforce


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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Leveraging Opportunity Zones for Economic Development
Webinar | August 2020

Leveraging Opportunity Zones for Economic Development

Roger Moore

SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee Virtual Program

Presiding Officer: Representative Nathaniel Ledbetter, Alabama; Vice Chair, SLC Economic Development, Transportation & Cultural Affairs Committee

The Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 included new incentives for stimulating private investment, economic development and job creation in underserved communities, designated as Opportunity Zones. According to the IRS, there are more than 8,700 Qualified Opportunity Zones nationally, including more than 3,000 in the SLC region. Under the program, individuals or entities that invest in economically distressed areas qualify for capital gains tax breaks. This program outlines the benefits and concerns surrounding Opportunity Zones and explores what actions states and localities can take to ensure that tax-advantaged funding is delivering sustainable investment in underserved communities.

Presentations:

Jorge González, Research Analyst, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.
Brady Meixell, Research Analyst, Urban Institute, Washington, D.C.


Policy Analysis | June 2020

Coronavirus Response at State Unemployment Agencies

Nick Bowman

Disclaimer: Employment figures prior to the passage of the CARES Act at the end of March do not include independent contactors and other self-employed workers who historically have not qualified for unemployment insurance. As a result, data following the enactment of the CARES Act will include previously ineligible unemployed individuals who now qualify for benefits, effective until the end of 2020. For more information on unemployment, see the SLC Policy Analysis “Unemployment in the SLC Region Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic.”

Since emerging in December 2019, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)—the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)—has infected millions and caused catastrophic economic impacts. As of May 28, 2020, the coronavirus had infected 5.6 million and contributed to 355,000 deaths worldwide, including 1.73 million cases and more than 100,000 deaths in the United States.1 The infections, deaths and quarantine policies have had devastating economic effects. Prior to the outbreak, unemployment was on a multi-year downward trend, with the national unemployment rate below 5 percent for 42 consecutive months. March’s unemployment rate was 4.4 percent. One month later, the rate soared to 14.7 percent.2

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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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