Special Report

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

Michael B. Sauter

The latest weekly jobless claims figures were released on May 21. Once again, over 2 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance, marking the ninth straight week at least 2 million Americans entered the jobless ranks.  

Even as a number of states begin to relax stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures and allow businesses to reopen, the long-term economic impact of COVID-19 is likely to be felt for quite some time. As of May 21, about 35 million Americans have filed for unemployment since President Donald Trump declared a national emergency in mid-March.

Earlier in May, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the national unemployment figure rose to 14.7%, a level not seen since the Great Depression. Official state unemployment rates are to be released on May 22, and unemployment could be much higher in some parts of the country. 

As unemployment claims have continued to surge by the millions with each passing week, 24/7 Wall St. has been compiling a state-by-state review of jobless claims. Job losses by state range from the tens of thousands to the millions over the nine weeks beginning on March 15, amounting to anywhere from 10% to nearly 40% of each state’s total labor force before the pandemic hit. 

The current economic downturn is largely attributable to efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Officials across the country have heeded advice from health experts and instituted a range of measures to facilitate social distancing, from shelter-in-place orders to closing nonessential businesses. Many of those states are beginning to partially reopen their economies or are planning to do so soon. Here’s when every state plans to lift COVID-19 restrictions.

The places 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 current economic downturn. These industries include leisure and hospitality, travel services, transportation and warehousing, and oil and gas extraction. These industries are the economic backbone of cities across the country. Here is a look at the places a COVID-19 recession will likely hit hardest

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