Virus Outbreak Pennsylvania

A sign is posted in the window of a closed business in Philadelphia, Friday, March 20, 2020. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf directed all "non-life-sustaining" businesses to close their physical locations in March.

(The Center Square) – Nearly one in three Pennsylvania businesses closed due to a government mandate, “substantially higher” than the U.S. private sector average, according to a new survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The 30.4% of Pennsylvania businesses that closed due to a government mandate is higher than New York (25.8%), New Jersey (22.4%), Ohio (19.5%), Maryland (18.6%), West Virginia (nearly 17.1%) and Delaware (about 16.3%). Nationally, South Dakota saw the fewest businesses close at 5.8%, while Puerto Rico saw the highest at slightly more than 50%.

Just about 15.3% of Keystone State businesses saw no impact on business operations because of the pandemic, which is “relatively similar” to the national average. The District of Columbia had the most companies with no impact at 25.9%, while Puerto Rico saw the lowest at 6.7%.

Nearly 56.1% of Keystone State businesses saw a decrease in demand for products or services, which is on par with the national average of about 55.6%. Nationwide, South Dakota saw the lowest drop in demand for products or services at about 44.9%, while Illinois saw the highest at about 61.2%.

Conversely, 12.4% of Pennsylvania businesses saw an increase in demand for products or services. Nationwide, the District of Columbia saw the smallest growth in demand for products or services at more than 8.6%, while Maine saw the largest at 18.8%.

When it comes to difficulty moving or shipping goods, roughly 11.6% of businesses in the Keystone State said they had trouble, “relatively similar” to the national average of nearly 11.5%.

“Pennsylvania’s families and small businesses still face a litany of government-induced obstacles to recovery and economic prosperity,” state Rep. Andrew Lewis, R-Dauphin, said in a news release about taking the oath of office for his second term. “We need to protect civil liberties for individuals, family members and small businesses.

“... They need options, and they need a break,” Lewis added. “Also, we need structural reforms across state government, which includes spending smarter, spending less and enacting term limits.”