Special Report

Every State's Unemployment Claims Since COVID-19 Shut the Economy Down

Five million Americans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the total number of new jobless claims in the last month to over 20 million. 

The latest round of layoffs is the continuation of a month-long trend, one that began in earnest days after President Donald Trump officially declared a national emergency on March 13, 2020. The increasing number of claims is a sure sign the U.S. is heading into an unemployment crisis of historic proportions. According to estimates released by Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, the unemployment rate may hit nearly 16% by July — higher than at any time since the Great Depression. 

As the number of jobless claims continues to surge with each passing week, 24/7 Wall St. compiled a state-by-state review of jobless claims. Every state has shed tens or hundreds of thousands of jobs over the four weeks beginning on March 15 — amounting to anywhere from 5% to more than 20% of the state’s total labor force. Over the most recent week of data, April 5 to April 11, unemployment claims were anywhere from 8 to 76 times higher than they were in the same week last year, depending on the state. 

The current economic downturn is largely attributable to efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Elected officials across the country have heeded advice from the CDC and instituted a range of measures to facilitate social distancing, from shelter-in-place orders to closing nonessential businesses. These measures, however, have taken a toll on the economy. Here is a look at what countries with some success against the coronavirus are doing to flatten the curve.

The states where unemployment rates are projected to be the highest in the coming months tend to be those that rely on industries that will likely bear the brunt of the economic downturn. These industries include leisure and hospitality, travel services, transportation and warehousing, and oil and gas extraction. Here is an in-depth look at the U.S. industries being devastated by the coronavirus.

Click here to see every state’s unemployment claims since COVID-19 shut the economy down
Click here to read our methodology