Despite the fact that the U.S. has been fighting the COVID-19 pandemic for over a year, new unemployment claims decreased week-over-week on February 1, and were 88% 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 Weekly 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.):
- 196.19% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs 2019)
- 132,839 the week of February 1, 2021 vs 44,850 the week of February 4, 2019
- 26th quickest recovery in the U.S.
- 261.76% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs Start of 2020)
- 132,839 the week of February 1, 2021 vs 36,720 the week of January 1, 2020
- 13th slowest recovery in the U.S.
- 624.81% Change in Unemployment Claims (Since Start of COVID-19 Crisis vs Previous Year)
- 11,794,830 between the week of March 16, 2020 and the week of February 1, 2021 vs 1,887,744 between the week of March 18, 2019 and the week of February 3, 2020
- 17th quickest recovery in the U.S.
To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:
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 all of its vaccine supply, while Alabama has only used less than 60%.”
How could the fact that vaccine rollout is slower than expected affect unemployment?
“Since vaccine rollout is slower than expected, that could slow the reduction in the unemployment rate this year. Without having most of the population vaccinated, we can’t achieve a full recovery, which means businesses will continue to not be able to hire in full force,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “If we can put more resources into achieving widespread vaccination, we can expect to make bigger strides in reducing unemployment. We should be concerned with educating people on the benefits of getting vaccinated, too, so that a higher percentage of the population will choose to receive the vaccine.”
How has unemployment in California recovered?
“California’s unemployment claims have experienced the 17th slowest recovery in the U.S. For the week of February 1, California had 132,839 new unemployment claims, an 87% decrease from the peak during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.