Republican-run states such as Florida, Texas, Utah, and the Carolinas enjoyed a swifter economic recovery from the pandemic compared to Democratic-leaning states which saw residents and companies leave for lower-tax havens, according to a report.
Federal data shows that red states have seen their share of total US jobs grow beginning in February 2020, a month before the start of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Journal cites statistics from the Brookings Institution which found that GOP-run states added 341,000 jobs in the last two-and-a-half years.
During that same period, blue states lost some 1.3 million jobs.
Moody’s Analytics also analyzed migration data which found that in the one-year period that started in February 2021, 46 million people moved to a different ZIP code.
The states that saw the biggest gains in net migration were Florida, Texas, and North Carolina — each of which voted for the Republican candidate for president in the last two election, Donald Trump.
The states that lost the largest number of residents were California, New York, and Illinois, which are all controlled by a Democratic-majority legislature and Democratic governors.
Analysts said that the migration could be explained by the closure of offices and the necessity of remote work due to the spread of the coronavirus.
Employees who were no longer tied to their cubicles could relocate to states that boast warmer climates, cheaper housing, less dense populations, and lower cost of living while continuing to work remotely.
Before remote work, employees gravitated to where companies’ offices were located. But the pandemic gave workers the option of where to live, leading to a massive migration away from the large cities on the coast.
Researchers found that people were also motivated to relocate in areas where it was cheaper to buy a home.
Housing in the 10 states that attracted the largest number of transplants from blue-leaning states costs 23% less compared to the 10 states that lost the largest number of residents, according to the right-leaning think tank the American Enterprise Institute.
The 10 states that gained the largest number of migrants have an income tax rate of 3.8% — compared to 8% income tax rate for the 10 states that lost the largest number of residents.
Four of the states that gained residents — Florida, Texas, Tennessee, and Nevada — have no income tax.
Not only are employees leaving for the Sun Belt, but their bosses are following them.
Companies are also relocating from blue-leaning states to red states in order to take advantage of lower taxes.
Tennessee, which has attracted firms from high-cost states, saw its economy grow by 8.6% last year — the highest in the nation. As a result, the state has seen an all-time low unemployment rate of 3.2% in April.