Due to the progress we’ve made toward vaccination and reopening, new unemployment claims decreased week-over-week on March 1, and were 90% below the peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help add some context to these statistics, WalletHub just released updated rankings for the States Whose Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest, along with accompanying videos and audio files.
To identify which states’ workforces are experiencing the quickest recovery from COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics based on changes in unemployment claims. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A. To see the states most recovered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.
Change in California Weekly Unemployment Claims (1=Quickest Recovery, 25=Avg.):
- 158.85% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs 2019)
- 105,861 the week of March 1, 2021 vs 40,896 the week of March 4, 2019
- 26th quickest recovery in the U.S.
- 188.29% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs Start of 2020)
- 105,861 the week of March 1, 2021 vs 36,720 the week of January 1, 2020
- 14th slowest recovery in the U.S.
- 595.98% Change in Unemployment Claims (Since Start of COVID-19 Crisis vs Previous Year)
- 12,224,837 between the week of March 16, 2020 and the week of March 1, 2021 vs 2,051,231 between the week of March 18, 2019 and the week of March 2, 2020
- 17th quickest recovery in the U.S.
To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/states-unemployment-claims/72730/
How will the newly-passed American Rescue Plan impact the unemployed?
“The American Rescue Plan should have a positive impact on the unemployed, and the extension of the extra weekly $300 in unemployment benefits through September is the most helpful aspect. By September, everyone who wants a vaccine should be vaccinated, which means businesses will have much looser restrictions and can begin hiring in full force,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The American Rescue Plan’s $7 billion in new Paycheck Protection Program funding will be incredibly helpful, too, because the same program saved over 51 million jobs the first time around. Both unemployed and employed Americans should also use the package’s $1,400 stimulus checks to make payments on essential bills or rebuild their savings.”
Do you expect companies to require getting the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition for employment?
“It is likely that some companies will require getting the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition for employment, with obvious exemptions for people who are medically unable to receive it,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Companies should be able to have a COVID-19 vaccine requirement because they need to do everything in their power to keep their workers and customers safe. In addition, the more companies that require employees to get a vaccine, the faster we will be able to achieve a full reopening.”
How might a state’s efficiency at administering the COVID-19 vaccine affect unemployment?
“States that are able to more efficiently vaccinate their residents will likely see better job growth than states that are less efficient. The more a state vaccinates, the safer conditions in that state will become and the sooner businesses will be able to fully reopen and have the resources to expand hiring,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Currently, some states are far more efficient than others. For example, North Dakota has used 87% of its vaccine supply, while Georgia has only used 64%.”
How do red states and blue states compare when it comes to recovery?
“With an average rank of 24 among the most recovered states, blue states had a better recovery from unemployment claims last week than red states, which rank 28 on average,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The lower the number of the ranking, the bigger the state’s recovery was.”
How has unemployment in California recovered?
“California’s unemployment claims have experienced the 21st slowest recovery in the U.S. For the week of March 1, California had 105,861 new unemployment claims, a 90% decrease from the peak during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.