The World At Work

A State By State Analysis Of Changes In Unemployment

Inflation rising… but so is employment

New market analysis from the consumer financial site wallethub.com suggests that job-gains may not necessarily be good news for the economy.

With inflation remaining high but the U.S. gaining 372,000 jobs in June, slightly less than in the previous month, WalletHub today released updated rankings for its report on Changes in Unemployment Rate by State.

In order to take stock of how unemployment rates are changing throughout the U.S., WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on six key metrics that compare unemployment rate statistics from the latest month for which data is available (June 2022) to key dates in 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019.

Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.

Best Change in Unemployment Worst Change in Unemployment

1. Minnesota 42. Maryland

2. New Hampshire 43. Texas

3. Rhode Island 44. Alaska

4. Vermont 45. Nevada

5. Nebraska 46. Illinois

6. Indiana 47. Pennsylvania

7. Utah 48. Hawaii

8. Iowa 49. New Mexico

9. South Dakota 50. Delaware

10. Florida 51. District of Columbia

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit here.

Q&A – A Conversation with WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez

What does the most recent jobs report mean for the economy?

Unfortunately, the most recent jobs report showing even more job gains for the country is not necessarily good news for the economy as a whole. After the report was issued, the Fed announced it supported yet another rate hike in July. Since the Fed raises rates due to inflation, and lower unemployment just strengthens the case the economy is overheating, we will continue to see rate hikes and a shaky economy for the time being.

How might rising inflation impact unemployed people?

Rising inflation has a direct impact on unemployed people. Finding a job right away is critical, as costs continue to increase and a recession looms in the horizon. The good news is that there are jobs out there for the taking. Jobs in logistics, dining and hospitality are very much in demand right now, so those fields might be good places to start.

The unemployment rate can fluctuate a lot by age, too; it’s only 2.4% for those ages 45 to 54, but 6.8% for people ages 20 to 24...

What qualities should unemployed people look for when choosing which businesses to apply to?

The biggest thing that unemployed people should look for when choosing which businesses to apply to is compensation that’s appropriate for their field and skill level. Since there is currently an employment shortage, workers are in a great position to negotiate a worthwhile compensation package. Other desirable features are the ability to work from home at least part of the time, measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a positive and friendly workplace environment, and a short commute.

Is there a big difference in the unemployment rate among various demographics?

The unemployment rate does differ sharply among different demographics. The unemployment rate for white people is 3.5%, while it’s much higher, at 6.1%, for black people. The racial disparity is troubling, especially in the context of broader discussions of inequality that have taken place in the past year. The unemployment rate can fluctuate a lot by age, too; it’s only 2.4% for those ages 45 to 54, but 6.8% for people ages 20 to 24. It makes sense that people who have been in the workforce longer would have more job stability, but we should be concerned about the difficult conditions faced by young people.

Which state has experienced the biggest increase in unemployment vs. the previous month?

Indiana as experienced the biggest increase in unemployment because the number of unemployed persons jumped by roughly 8% from May 2022 to June 2022, compared to the average decrease of 1%. “Indiana’s overall unemployment rate is 2.4%, compared to the average of 3.6%.

Which state has experienced the biggest decrease in unemployment vs. the previous month?

Missouri has experienced the biggest decrease in unemployment because it has seen a 12% decrease in the number of unemployed persons from May 2022 to June 2022, compared to the average decrease of 1%. Missouri’s overall unemployment rate is 2.8%, compared to the average of 3.6%.

The above Q&A is also provided in audio format and can be edited as needed.

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