How Changes in Employment  Forecast Biden's Win in the 2020 Election


16 States had employment declines of 7% or greater in 2020. Guess what else they had in common.

Year-Over-Year Percentage Employment Declines

  1. Hawaii: -13.8%
  2. Michigan: -10.9%
  3. New York: -10.4%
  4. Massachusetts: -9.1%
  5. Vermont: -9.0%
  6. New Hampshire: -8.8%
  7. Rhode Island: -8.7%
  8. Minnesota: -8.3%
  9. California: -8.0%
  10. New Jersey: -8.0%
  11. Delaware: -7.8%
  12. Oregon: -7.8%
  13. Pennsylvania: -7.8%
  14. Maine: -7.7%
  15. New Mexico: -7.6%
  16. Wisconsin: -7.0%

The stats are from the BLS report on State Unemployment Levels for December 2020.

All of the above states had year-over-year employment declines of 7.0% or more. 

They all went for Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Highest Unemployment Rates in 2020

  1. Hawaii: 9.3%
  2. Nevada: 9.2%
  3. California: 9.0%
  4. Colorado: 8.4%
  5. New Mexico: 8.2%
  6. New York: 8.2%
  7. Rhode Island: 8.1%
  8. Connecticut: 8.0%
  9. District of Columbia: 7.9%
  10. Illinois: 7.6%
  11. New Jersey: 7.6%
  12. Arizona: 7.5%
  13. Michigan: 7.5%
  14. Massachusetts: 7.4%
  15. Louisiana: 7.2%
  16. Texas 7.2%
  17. Washington: 7.1%

All of the above states plus D.C. had unemployment rates over 7.0%. Except for Texas and Louisiana they all went for Joe Biden in the 2020 election.

Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., Washington, and Illinois are in the second group only.  

Hawaii, California, Connecticut, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Michigan, Massachusetts, and New Jersey are in both groups.

Election Notes

  • The 16 of 16 states where employment declined by 7.0% or more went to Joe Biden in the election.
  • The 15 of 17 states with unemployment rates over 7.0% also went to Biden.
  • There are 22 states plus D.C in at least one group.
  • Those 22 states plus D.C. have a combined total of 262 Electoral College votes, just short of the 270 Biden needed to win the election.
  • Biden also carried Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, and the Omaha region in Nebraska. Those are shown in brown on my 270 to Win Map. 

Which States Have the Highest and Lowest Unemployment Rates?

Unemployment Rates by State 2020-12

Lowest Unemployment Rates in 2020

  1. South Dakota: 3.0
  2. Nebraska: 3.0%
  3. Iowa: 3.1%
  4. Vermont: 3.1%
  5. Utah: 3.6%
  6. Kansas: 3.8%
  7. Alabama: 3.9%

The above states had unemployment rates under 4.0%. All but Vermont went for Trump.

For further discussion please see Which States Have the Highest and Lowest Unemployment Rates?

Also, please see Governor Cuomo's Pitiful Tax Hike Ultimatum Will Punish New York

Huge state tax hikes are not going to help any states recover from the Covid pandemic.

Nonetheless, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and California are slated to go after your pocketbook (again and again and again). 


Comments (53)
No. 1-15

So it was “the economy?” I am shocked that people would vote because they cant make a living! /s

So what happens if Biden signs on to universal income and hands out $1000/month to everyone? Dems forever?


Proof once again that people vote their pocketbook...and little else.

It’s interesting to me....that the states with low unemployment were happen to give Trump the credit (completely underserved, in my view).......and that the states with high unemployment blamed Trump (also mostly undeserved, in my view).

The only thing that saved the country from Trump, then....was COVID, which wiped out the economy and changed the narrative that Trump was providing more jobs by his policies.....which was mostly bullshit anyway.


Seems like the democrats plan to destroy the economy to get back in the White House worked.


Still banging on about Trump? What about Biden? What flavor of ice cream do you think he likes? You know, the BIG issues.

Bungalow Bill
Bungalow Bill

Looks like Mish angered the fake news crowd with great analysis yet once again. If we learned anything from 1992, "it's the economy, stupid."

Bungalow Bill
Bungalow Bill

It does seem to me with Trump pushing all this free money and demanding it be increased in the form of stimulus, he did light the fuse that will lead to that.


The economy was a symptom, pandemic was the cause. the quote for the 2020 election should have been "its the pandemic, stupid"

Dodge Demon
Dodge Demon

Mish, you must give applause to Bill Maher calling for it over 2 years ago -

The Repo market was crashing in 4Q2018 and 2019. I would have preferred the S&P go down to 666 if the idea was to get rid of Trump, instead of the Billionaire Bailouts.


It's difficult to imagine people getting fired up over either of these candidates. Biden has been a known quantity forever and after four years of hot air we all became familiar with Trump. It was beyond obvious that the plan for both candidates was the same as before, extend and pretend while the printer goes brrrr.

At least on the blue side most people seemed only lukewarm on Biden, whereas the MAGA side had people publicly pledging their willingness to die for Trump. The cult-like atmosphere around him was bizarre.

Biden won't solve anything, but the nice thing about the election was seeing a delusional group of people get a much needed reality check.

Mr. Purple
Mr. Purple

"It's the economy, stupid."

Who knew there were more voters among the 99% than the 1%?

Of course, the 1% selected the two candidates, so draw your own conclusions, such as "the election is over and you lost?"


Ironic that people voted for the political party that put them out of a job. Disneyland is still closed, while Disney World has been open for months.


Great post, @Mish !


People vote. Land doesn't vote. It is still the economy stupid ! h/t Bill Clinton.


Even wealthy Democrats are turning against Newsom here in California. And also turning against Wall Street. Newsom is going to face a recall. Whether it happens or not is another matter. Given voters are angry at him, this feels more like another Gray Davis situation. California already said no to more taxes via ballot measures. If the politicians try it here in 2021 via other means, they are going to be in for a rude awakening come 2022. If Newsom gets recalled, I think Faulconer (who attracted Democratic votes as mayor of San Diego) will run and has a better than 50/50 shot at winning.


You have the right to like anybody you want to in school, oh wait that little girl, that liked the little girl today's news & got kicked out @ 8 yrs old. Omg. Whether you like trump or biden, trump bringing "everything into the light" as he should have, and found all kinds of people we didn't even knew existed, creepy crawling out if some holes! Good for him. If, you are to afraid to speak up for yourself, or expect me to be the "speaker of the house" all the dang time, then, your doing yourself. Glad somebody took the initiative to take some of the speeches away from me. How the heck are you to run a company and not know what the people want. I guess, make them mad enough, and you find. To destroy my life it Trump's financially, is morally wrong. To turn your back on your president for doing the right thing, throwing him under the bus, & making America look weak, impeaching him, well, not smart. I hope you all learned umpteenth times of class 101. I'm tired if it, & Biden didn't hire me, but, I bet he listens to me just like the rest of you.

Global Economics