Despite the fact that the U.S. is experiencing an uptick in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, new unemployment claims decreased week-over-week on October 26, and were 89% 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 Weekly 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.
Change in New York Weekly Unemployment Claims (1=Quickest Recovery, 25=Avg.):
- 249.27% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs Last Year)
- 45,391 the week of October 26, 2020 vs 12,996 the week of October 28, 2019
- 20th slowest recovery in the U.S.
1.22% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs Start of 2020)
- 45,391 the week of October 26, 2020 vs 44,846 the week of January 1, 2020
- 8th quickest recovery in the U.S.
879.48% Change in Unemployment Claims (Since Start of COVID-19 Crisis vs Last Year)
- 4,084,879 between the week of March 16, 2020 and the week of October 26, 2020 vs 464,463 between the week of March 18, 2019 and the week of October 28, 2019
- 22nd quickest recovery in the U.S.
What does the current election status mean for unemployment?
“The fact that the election is not yet resolved adds to the uncertainty already felt by unemployed people, as it further delays talks of a second stimulus,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “If we had a clear picture of who has won the presidency and Congress, it would be easier to predict whether unemployed Americans are likely to get relief before or after inauguration day. In addition to giving us a better idea of when another stimulus will come, clear election results would help us forecast how much bargaining power each party has in determining the size of said stimulus.”
Should the government step in to help industries like movie theaters avoid going bankrupt?
“The government should take actions to prevent highly-impacted industries such as movie theaters from going bankrupt. Government restrictions on capacity, though essential for safety, have caused many places to become unprofitable. We should protect businesses against bankruptcy to prevent another rise in unemployment,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “In order to receive assistance, companies and landlords in danger of bankruptcy should also be willing to share in the cost. The government can’t be solely responsible for bailing everyone out.”
If a coronavirus vaccine is distributed before the end of the year, how could that impact unemployment?
“If a coronavirus vaccine becomes available before the end of the year, that’s great news for unemployment. If most people are vaccinated against COVID-19, the transmission risk will be minimized and we will finally be able to achieve a full reopening. Business revenue will increase, and as a result, businesses will have a greater ability to hire,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Even though it would be great to have a vaccine this year, it’s important to make sure that clinical trials are not rushed so that the final product has the best efficacy possible. We may also face an uphill battle getting people vaccinated, as recent surveys suggest as much as a third of the population would refuse the vaccine.”
How do red states and blue states compare when it comes to recovery?
“With an average rank of 24 among the most recovered states, red states had a better recovery from unemployment claims last week than blue states, which rank 29 on average,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The lower the number of the ranking, the bigger the state’s recovery was.”
How has unemployment in Texas – the state with the most COVID-19 cases – recovered?
“Texas’ unemployment claims have experienced the 23rd slowest recovery in the U.S. For the week of October 26, Texas had 36,200 new unemployment claims, an 89% decrease from the peak during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.