Special Report

39 States Where People Gave Up Looking for Jobs During the Pandemic

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

24. Tennessee
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +48.1% (Q4 2020 total: 12,000)
> 2020 labor force: 3,289,426
> 2020 unemployment rate: 7.5% — 24th highest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +0.8% — 15th largest

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23. Missouri
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +54.2% (Q4 2020 total: 9,100)
> 2020 labor force: 3,052,700
> 2020 unemployment rate: 6.1% — 14th lowest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +0.2% — 22nd smallest

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

22. Maine
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +57.1% (Q4 2020 total: 1,100)
> 2020 labor force: 676,547
> 2020 unemployment rate: 5.4% — 6th lowest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +0.4% — 22nd largest

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21. New Mexico
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +57.1% (Q4 2020 total: 3,300)
> 2020 labor force: 943,287
> 2020 unemployment rate: 8.4% — 11th highest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +0.5% — 21st largest

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

20. Wisconsin
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +60.5% (Q4 2020 total: 6,100)
> 2020 labor force: 3,065,402
> 2020 unemployment rate: 6.3% — 19th lowest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +0.2% — 20th smallest