Work-from-home not always an optionNew market research from wallethub.com, a consumer finance site. Reprinted with permission. Visit wallethub.com
As the U.S. has embraced social distancing policies in order to minimize the spread of COVID-19, many businesses have shut their doors either voluntarily or by government order. While some businesses have dealt with the crisis by having employees work from home, that option is not available to everyone. Millions of Americans have found themselves temporarily or permanently out of a job as a result, illustrated by the record number of initial unemployment insurance claims, at over 6.6 million, for the week of March 23.
While Americans can look forward to stimulus checks in the coming weeks, those who are jobless will likely still struggle. However, not all states have experienced the same levels of unemployment due to the pandemic. In order to find out the states whose unemployment percentages are most and least affected, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key metrics. These metrics compare unemployment claim increases for the week of March 23 to both the same week in 2019 and the first week of 2020. Read on for our ranking of the states and a full description of our methodology.
A Record Number of New Claims
With the U.S. experiencing a record number of initial unemployment claims, WalletHub today released its report on the States with the Biggest Increases in Unemployment Due to Coronavirus, along with accompanying videos.
To identify which states have experienced the largest unemployment increases, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key metrics. These metrics compare initial unemployment claim increases for the week of March 23, 2020 to both the same week in 2019 and the first week of 2020. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.
|States with Biggest Unemployment Increases||States with Smallest Unemployment Increases|
|1. Louisiana||42. Idaho|
|2. North Carolina||43. New York|
|3. Indiana||44. Illinois|
|4. New Hampshire||45. Arkansas|
|5. Florida||46. Alaska|
|6. Virginia||47. West Virginia|
|7. Michigan||48. Wyoming|
|8. Kentucky||49. Wisconsin|
|9. District of Columbia||50. Connecticut|
|10. New Mexico||51. Oregon|
Q&A with Jill Gonzalez, a wallethub.com analyst:
How do red states and blue states compare when it comes to increases in unemployment?
“With an average unemployment rank of 25, Blue States suffered a higher increase of their unemployment during the coronavirus outbreak than Red States, which rank 27 on average. The lower the rank, the higher the increase in initial unemployment claims that state received during the coronavirus pandemic.”
The state with the current largest number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is New York. How has New York’s unemployment rate been affected?
“New York has seen a 717% increase in initial unemployment claims from the beginning of 2020 to the 13th week. This is better than the average increase of 2,002%.”
What can states do in order to minimize the rise in their unemployment rates?
“States should aggressively focus on helping the companies in the most need. The federal response will include sending checks to most citizens, even those whose income has not been affected by the coronavirus. States can use a more targeted approach to divert resources to the companies affected the most, thus having maximum impact for the money spent.”
To view the full report and your state or the District’s rank, please visit wallethub.com/edu