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WalletHub Study Update: States Having the Quickest Recovery of Unemployment Claims

New unemployment claims decreased slightly week-over-week on January 23 amid high inflation and the threat of a recession. To help add some context to these statistics, WalletHub just released updated rankings for the States Where Unemployment Claims Are Decreasing the Most.

Key Stats:

  • 24 states had unemployment claims last week that were lower than in the previous week: Kentucky, Arkansas, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Rhode Island, Maine, Missouri, Michigan, Idaho, California, Louisiana, Alabama, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Arizona, North Carolina, Delaware, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Washington and Connecticut.
  • Every state had unemployment claims last week that were lower than in the same week pre-pandemic (2019) except for Minnesota, Idaho, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Indiana, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Oregon and Utah.
  • Surprisingly, 13 states – including South Carolina, Colorado, and Utah – had unemployment claims last week that were worse than the same week last year.
Decreased Most Last Week Decreased Least Last Week
1. Kentucky 42. Hawaii
2. West Virginia 43. Wisconsin
3. Maryland 44. Alaska
4. Arkansas 45. Kansas
5. New Hampshire 46. New York
6. Oklahoma 47. Colorado
7. Delaware 48. Montana
8. Maine 49. Georgia
9. District of Columbia 50. Oregon
10. Florida 51. Utah

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/states-unemployment-claims/72730.

WalletHub Q&A

Given that the Fed seems to have slowed down on its rate increases, how will unemployment be affected?

“The Fed raised rates by a quarter of a point, which is the smallest increase since March 2022 when it started the increases to tame rising prices. But inflation has not calmed down enough just yet,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub Analyst. “Unemployment will still need to rise, at least slightly, to get inflation numbers down to where the Fed wants them. We can expect unemployment to increase through the end of the year.”

What are unemployment predictions for 2023?

“The U.S. economy is expected to grow very little in 2023. This would lead to a jump in unemployment to as high as 4.6 percent, according to the Federal Reserve. Both of these things would be signs of the Fed continuing to try and get a handle on inflation,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub Analyst. “If this ‘worst-case scenario’ comes true, it could mean that millions of people who now have jobs could wind up unemployed.”

How would a potential recession affect unemployment?

“A potential recession would negatively affect unemployment significantly. Losing a job is never good, but when you combine it with such high inflation it can really become disastrous,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub Analyst. “Even Americans with jobs right now are struggling to afford essentials like food and gas. If those numbers would climb while more people become unemployed, we might see an economy in deep recession.”

What do you make of the fact that there are more job openings than there are unemployed Americans?

“Unemployment is really no longer an issue since the country has recovered from much of the fallout of the pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub Analyst. “The next step might be looking to open up immigration to fill the surplus of jobs nationwide. Doing so would not only help businesses meet their needs, but would also drive additional economic growth.”

How do red states and blue states compare when it comes to new unemployment claims? 

“With an average rank of 24 among the states with the biggest decreases in unemployment claims, red states fared better last week than blue states, which rank 28 on average,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub Analyst. “The lower the number of the ranking, the bigger the decrease in the state’s new unemployment claims was.” 

How has unemployment in the Mountain states – the division with the highest inflation growth in the past 12 months – been impacted?

“Among Mountain states, Idaho’s unemployment claims have experienced the 24th smallest decrease in the U.S. For the week of January 23, Idaho had 1,470 new unemployment claims, a 6% decrease from the previous week. On the other hand, unemployment claims in Montana have experienced a 24% increase for the same period.”

This article was released by WalletHub.