As the personal finance website WalletHub has reported, the U.S. is making significant progress in the fight against COVID-19 with the distribution of the vaccine, and this has been reflected in the job market as new unemployment claims decreased week-over-week recently.
To identify which states’ workforces are experiencing the quickest recovery from COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on changes in unemployment claims for several key benchmark weeks. The rankings showed Virginia is still among the slowest states in terms of the pace of its recovery, ranking 42nd.
Only six states had unemployment claims last week that were lower than before the pandemic: Iowa, Arizona, South Carolina, West Virginia, Arkansas, and Vermont.
The good news is that every state had unemployment claims last week that were better than the same week last year.
According to WalletHub, 9.5 million Americans are currently unemployed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There were 400,000 new unemployment claims nationwide last week, which is a lot fewer than the 6.1 million during the peak of the pandemic (a 93% reduction).
The key metrics the website used to determine its rankings, which ultimately were based on data obtained from the U.S. Department of Labor were the change in the number of initial unemployment insurance claims in the latest week compared to the same week in 2019, the change in the number of initial unemployment insurance claims in the latest week compared to the start of 2020, the change in the number of initial unemployment insurance claims in the latest week compared to the same week in 2020, and the change in the number of initial unemployment insurance claims since the start of the COVID-19 crisis compared to the same period in 2021.
The ten states WalletHub determined to be recovering the quickest from their unemployment claims were (1) South Carolina (2) Arkansas (3) Iowa (4) Arizona (5) Vermont (6) South Dakota (7) West Virginia (8) Washington (9) Kansas (10) New Hampshire.
Determined by WalletHub to be recovering the slowest from its unemployment claims (42 through 51) were (42) Virginia (43) Colorado (44) Texas (45) Indiana (46) Nevada (47) Tennessee (48) Rhode Island (49) Michigan (50) New Mexico (51) the District of Columbia.