Special Report

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


To determine the number of unemployment claims in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the total initial unemployment claims for each week from the week ending March 21, 2020, through the week ending April 11, 2020 — a total of four weeks. Unemployment claims figures are not seasonally adjusted and are from the Department of Labor.

To calculate unemployment claims from March 15 through April 11 as a share of each state’s labor force, we used the unadjusted number of claims over that four week period and the total size of the labor force (not seasonally adjusted) as of February 2020 from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics.

The identification of high-risk industries comes from a March 2020 paper, “COVID-19: A Fiscal Stimulus Plan,” published by Moody’s Analytics. Employment data by industry came from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages and are annual estimates for 2018.

The projected unemployment rate by state for July 2020 came from a report published by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan, nonprofit think tank.

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