Measuring Recovery

As Unemployment Claims Go Down, The Economy Looks To Start Growing Again

4.8 Million jobs added in June

New market research from the consumer credit site

The extra unemployment benefits from the CARES Act are set to end soon but the U.S. is starting to recover, as new unemployment claims last week were 81% below the peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help add some context to these statistics, WalletHub just released updated rankings for the States Whose Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest.

To identify which states’ workforces are experiencing the quickest recovery from COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics based on changes in unemployment claims. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A. To see the states most recovered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Most Recovered Last Week

Least Recovered Last Week

1. Oregon

42. North Carolina

2. Wyoming

43. Indiana

3. Connecticut

44. Tennessee

4. Pennsylvania

45. New Mexico

5. Michigan

46. Virginia

6. West Virginia

47. Louisiana

7. Rhode Island

48. Nebraska

8. Missouri

49. Alaska

9. New York

50. Georgia

10. Montana

51. Florida


WalletHub Q&A with analyst Jill Gonzalez: How strong is our economic recovery?

How does the availability of childcare during the COVID-19 pandemic affect unemployment?
“The availability of childcare can have a big impact on unemployment because if a state’s childcare programs are closed due to COVID-19, at least one parent in each household may be forced to stay home. A lack of childcare can be devastating for single parents who can’t afford to stay home or families who rely on their children receiving free meals at school. In states where childcare is not currently available, businesses should make an effort to let parents work remotely, though that is not an option for every type of job.”

We should be very encouraged that the economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, as this job growth exceeded expert projections and demonstrates that our recovery is accelerating...

How encouraged should we be that the economy added 4.8 million jobs in June?
“We should be very encouraged that the economy added 4.8 million jobs in June, as this job growth exceeded expert projections and demonstrates that our recovery is accelerating. Reopening states has had a big impact, and these unemployment numbers demonstrate that the job losses caused by the pandemic are largely temporary. Despite the encouraging news from the jobs report, it’s important to remember that quite a few states have paused their reopening processes due to spikes in COVID-19. We may see a slowdown in job growth in the near future.”

How will pauses in states’ reopening processes affect unemployment?
“If states pause their reopening processes, we will likely see a slowdown in job growth because people who are temporarily laid off in certain non-essential sectors will have to wait longer to get back to work. We likely will not see a spike in new unemployment claims unless states close businesses that have already reopened. Rather than impose more lockdowns, states should focus on mandatory measures that protect everyone such as mask wearing in public and temperature checks at workplaces and in airports.”

How is the wearing of masks linked to unemployment?
“Wearing masks helps prevent the release of droplets from the mouth or nose that may contain COVID-19, which consequently can help minimize the spread of the virus. Countries with more prevalent mask wearing have been less impacted by coronavirus, so mandating the use of masks in public may help us proceed to a full reopening soon. Consumers are more comfortable going out when they know everyone will be wearing masks, according to a recent WalletHub survey, and greater confidence leads to more people leaving the house and supporting businesses again.”

How do red states and blue states compare when it comes to recovery?
“With an average rank of 24 among the most recovered states, blue states had a better recovery from unemployment claims last week than red states, which rank 27 on average. The lower the number of the ranking, the bigger the state’s recovery was.”

How has unemployment in New York – the state with the most COVID-19 cases – recovered?
“New York’s unemployment claims have experienced the 9th quickest recovery in the U.S. For the week of July 6, New York had 91,583 new unemployment claims, a 77% decrease from the peak during the coronavirus pandemic.


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