Special Report

States With the Largest Drop in Unemployment

The U.S. economy suffered one of its most significant drops in GDP in 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic halted spending, travel, and other economic activity. The economic hit was accompanied by high unemployment, with the jobless rate reaching 14.8% in April 2020, the highest level since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate was 8.1% for the full year – more than double what it was the year before.

As the pandemic has become more manageable and public health measures eased, the economy, and with it the labor market, began to recover, and the unemployment rate decreased to 5.3% in 2021. The unemployment rate dropped in every state – by less than 1 percentage point in some and by more than 6 percentage points in others.

To determine how the unemployment rate in each state changed from 2020 to 2021, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. States were ranked by the unemployment rate change.

Many of the states with the largest drop in unemployment from 2020 to 2021 had among the highest unemployment rates during the pandemic. These states often had economies that were highly reliant on tourism, and while those jobs were phased out as travel slowed, employers in the sector began hiring as travel resumed.

After dealing with the challenges of the pandemic, employers today are facing another challenge – the Great Resignation. This phenomenon has seen workers quit their jobs in search of new opportunities, better pay, and more benefits. Though quits are up in each state, they are much more common in some states than others. These are the states where the most people are quitting their jobs.

Click here to see the states with the largest drop in unemployment

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