Entries by Isabel Wagner

Unemployment Claims in New England: Who receives the most in unemployment benefits?

Unemployment is a hot topic only exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Perusing the Pioneer Institute’s MA IRS DataDiscovery database reveals many interesting trends about unemployment benefits in New England.  In 2018, MA gave out over $1.11 billion in unemployment benefits, more than double the amount given in CT, the state with the second-highest dollar amount of unemployment. Benefits given in RI, ME, VT and NH are also a small percentage of the benefits given in CT. This is unsurprising, given MA, CT and RI have the highest maximum weekly benefit in New England. Benefits are calculated similarly across all the six states: wages are averaged over a base period, which is usually two to three of the quarters in which […]

MA Decline in Manufacturing Employment: Causes and Consequences

Recently, the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on employment levels across all industries, with the shutdowns of Spring 2020 forcing people out of work and enhanced unemployment benefits providing a disincentive to go back. However, as easy as it is to blame the increased unemployment benefits for declining employment levels, there’s one industry in MA whose employment rates have been declining for years before COVID. Using the Pioneer Institute’s MassEconomix Database, it’s clear that the number of manufacturing jobs has been falling consistently since at least the early 2000s.  The US signed NAFTA  in 1993, effectively eliminating trade barriers among Mexico, the US, and Canada. Although advertised as a means to expand trade and lower tariffs that would decrease […]

Charitable Contributions in New England: Trends by Income and State

American culture embraces and encourages charity. As such, the positive trend of increasing donation size as incomes rise is to be expected. However, income is not the only determinant of donation size, with psychology, personal interests, and geography influencing how much people donate and subsequently report as charitable contributions. Information from Pioneer Institute’s IRS Data Discovery Database revealed many interesting trends for charitable giving in New England states.   MA, NH, and CT residents who earn at least $1 million annually account for between 50% – 65% of their respective states’ total charitable contributions. In contrast, those in VT, RI and ME who earn over $1 million annually make up about 30% of total charitable contributions in their states. Interestingly, contributions […]

Comparing Covid-19 Vaccination and New Infection Rates in Suffolk County: Is Vaccination Working?

Massachusetts ranks fourth nationally for the highest percent of population vaccinated, coming behind Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, with 56.2% of its population fully vaccinated as of May 27. Suffolk County has 68.6% of its residents fully vaccinated and 12.5% partially vaccinated. In theory, the number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in Suffolk County each day should have fallen with the rise in vaccinations. Is that what actually happened? Massachusetts has a three-phase vaccination plan that began mid-December 2020. Phase One lasted Dec 2020 – Feb 2021 and prioritized the vaccination of healthcare workers doing direct and COVID-facing care, those in long-term care facilities such as nursing homes or assisted living communities, first responders, and home-based healthcare workers. Phase Two, […]