Special Report

This State Has the Highest Unemployment in America

The current national unemployment rate is 4.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics in its “The Employment Situation — November 2021” report. It is hard to imagine that unemployment was three times that just a year and a half ago. The economy added 210,000 jobs in November after adding 546,000 jobs in October — six-figure job increases have been the rule and not the exception over the months since April 2020.

The COVID-19 pandemic drove unemployment to a high not seen since World War II. In April 2020, the jobless rate reached 14.8%, according to the Congressional Research Service. That was up from 3.5% in February 2020. Two states, Nevada and California, currently have the highest unemployment rate. (This is the worst state to work in America.)

The jobless rate varies widely from state to state and city to city. To find the unemployment rate in each state, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the BLS’ “State Employment and Unemployment — October 2021” report, the most recently published. The civilian labor force as of October is also from the report.

The report points out that “Nonfarm payroll employment increased in 25 states and the District of Columbia and was essentially unchanged in 25 states in October 2021.” Industries in some areas recover faster than others. In several metro areas, the unemployment rate was above 8%, and in one it was over 18%.

In Nebraska, the jobless rate was 1.9% in October. That is the lowest of any state since 1976, when the BLS started to post state jobs data.

The highest unemployment rate was 7.3% in California and Nevada. California is the largest state by population, so it is hard to pin down one cause for its high figure. Because of the state’s diversity of large industries, it is also impossible to pinpoint what would cause a large recovery in jobs.

Nevada, on the other hand, has one main industry (gambling and hospitality) that provides hundreds of thousands of jobs. COVID-19 has caused the shuttering of much of the gambling and hospitality  industry.

Nevada’s jobs recovery will depend almost entirely on COVID-19 spread both in the state and in the states that people travel from to gamble and be entertained. Aside from several school districts and medical centers, the largest employers are Wynn Las Vegas, Bellagio, MGM Grand Hotel/Casino, Aria Resort & Casino, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, and the Venetian/Palazzo Casino Resort. (Here is the largest employer in every state.)

When the gambling tables and floor shows reopen without any restrictions or concerns, the unemployment rate in Nevada will fall.

Click here to see the state that has the highest unemployment in America