With the coronavirus pandemic resulting in widespread business shutdown that have wreaked havoc on the U.S. economy, unemployment rose to record highs in nearly every state last month; Here are the top ten states with the highest jobless rates, newly released federal data shows.
The ten states with the highest unemployment rates are Nevada (28.2%), Michigan (22.7%), Hawaii (22.3%), Rhode Island (17%), Indiana (16.9%), Ohio (16.8%), Illinois (16.4%), New Hampshire (16.3%), Vermont (15.6%) and California (15.5%).
Almost every state—43 of them, to be exact—surged to historic levels of unemployment in April, according to a recent breakdown on Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The pandemic has in particular devastated the economies of Nevada, Michigan and Hawaii, with roughly a quarter of the workforce in each state now unemployed.
Nevada saw the highest jobless rate in the nation, which skyrocketed to 28.2% last month—up from 6.9% in March—as the state was hard-hit by casino closures and a standstill in the tourism industry.
Michigan, with many of its auto plants temporarily shut amid the pandemic, had the second-highest unemployment rate last month with 22.7%.
Hawaii, which also relies heavily on tourism to boost its state economy, saw its unemployment jump to 22.3% in April.
Just eight states—Connecticut, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wyoming, Missouri, Utah and Maryland—had unemployment rates under 10%.
What to watch for
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ state breakdown was somewhat marred by data collection and misclassification issues, the agency said. Connecticut, which reportedly had the lowest jobless rate at 7.9%, released a press release saying that the federal data “severely underestimated” unemployment numbers. The state’s revised projections put its own rate closer to 17.5%, for example.
Big number: 38 million
That’s how many Americans have filed for unemployment benefits over the past nine weeks, according to the Labor Department’s weekly jobless claims reports.
The coronavirus has caused the highest rate of U.S. joblessness seen since the 1929 Great Depression. The national unemployment rate hit a post-World War II era high, soaring to 14.7% last month—up from 4.4% in March. Before the outbreak hit the U.S. in late February, the unemployment rate had been at a 50-year low of 3.5%.
Unemployment Rates for States, Seasonally Adjusted (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)