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 May 30, 2020 — a total of 11 weeks. Unemployment claims figures are not seasonally adjusted and are from the Department of Labor.
To calculate unemployment claims as a share of each state’s labor force, we used the total unadjusted number of claims over that 11-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, an economic research company. Employment figures by industry come from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages and are annual estimates for 2018.