State-level analysis and implications for future aid packages

By Katarzyna Bilicka¹ and Sepideh Raei²

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Photo by fran hogan on Unsplash

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to create an unprecedented effect on the economy, increasing unemployment to levels not seen since the Great Depression. Many jobs have been lost, and claims for unemployment insurance have surpassed by far the all-time high. In fact, as figure 1 shows, over the last seven weeks, more than 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance, representing more than 20 percent of all employed workers.

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Figure 1 — Initial claims filing for unemployment insurance for the U.S.

In light of this crisis, Congress quickly stepped in with support, spending nearly $3 trillion on a host of programs to provide public health and economic support at the onset of the pandemic. One of the first priorities of policymakers in this situation is to provide for workers who have lost their jobs and to make sure that those workers are able to meet their basic needs. …


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In surveying, a “benchmark” is a literal post or plaque that is used as a mark for future surveys. It can be used by others later to take measurements, examine angles, and check elevation. In business, benchmarking is the process of comparing current practices against others. In computing, a benchmark is a test to assess the relative performance of a program.

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A benchmark post at Quandary Peak Summit, CO

In other words, a benchmark is a point of reference — the basis for which other, newer measurements can be taken and insights can be drawn from.

The Benchmark — a new publication of the Center for Growth and Opportunity at Utah State University — is where our team of researchers and scholars will set their own measures, share their ideas about issues that are important to them, and contribute to discussions about the future and what it means. …

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The Center for Growth and Opportunity

University-based #research center on the campus of Utah State University. We provide opportunities for #students. We're dedicated to #ideas that transform lives

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