Special Report

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

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

19. Illinois
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +62.1% (Q4 2020 total: 18,800)
> 2020 labor force: 6,249,147
> 2020 unemployment rate: 9.5% — 7th highest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +-0.7% — the smallest

Source: FilippoBacci / Getty Images

18. New York
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +63.4% (Q4 2020 total: 53,600)
> 2020 labor force: 9,289,171
> 2020 unemployment rate: 10.0% — 4th highest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +-0.6% — 3rd smallest

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

17. South Carolina
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +66.7% (Q4 2020 total: 9,500)
> 2020 labor force: 2,384,590
> 2020 unemployment rate: 6.2% — 17th lowest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +1.3% — 5th largest

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

16. Texas
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +72.0% (Q4 2020 total: 57,800)
> 2020 labor force: 13,983,319
> 2020 unemployment rate: 7.6% — 23rd highest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +1.2% — 7th largest

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

15. West Virginia
> Chg. in discouraged workers, Q4 2019-Q4 2020: +73.7% (Q4 2020 total: 3,300)
> 2020 labor force: 792,156
> 2020 unemployment rate: 8.3% — 14th highest
> Population change, 2019-2020: +-0.4% — 4th smallest