To identify the best and worst states to be unemployed, 24/7 Wall St. generated an index composed of four measures: the unemployment insurance recipiency rate, the UI replacement rate, the unemployment rate, and the one-year job growth rate. Data on the UI recipiency rate (the percentage of unemployed individuals receiving UI benefits) and the UI replacement rate (the average weekly UI benefit amount as a percentage of the average weekly wage) for the four quarters ending Q4 2020 came from the U.S. Department of Labor and were included in the index. Seasonally-adjusted data on the unemployment rate as of April 2021 came from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Seasonally-adjusted data on total nonfarm employment also came from the BLS and was used to calculate change in employment from April 2020 to April 2021. Supplemental data on exhaustion rate and average benefits duration came from the DOL and is for Q4 2020. Unadjusted data on initial unemployment claims filed since March 15, 2020 came from the DOL and was adjusted by the size of the February 2020 labor force using unadjusted data from the BLS.
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