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The biggest gainers are in the South and the Great Plains and the losers are everywhere.
Florida has had the strongest unemployment claims recovery since the start of the pandemic, according to a new report from WalletHub.
The other states that have had the best recoveries are South Carolina, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Kansas, North Carolina, Arizona, Minnesota, Washington and Arkansas.
The states where the unemployment claims rate lags the most are Vermont, Utah, New Mexico, West Virginia and Delaware and Rhode Island. The District of Columbia also is at the bottom of the ranking.
Last month, total U.S. employment grew by nearly 1 million. The number of unemployed residents fell by 782,000 to 8.7 million and the national unemployment rate declined by 0.5% to 5.4%, according to the latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Local governments added 221,000 public education jobs, but the agency said it’s likely those numbers were inflated.
However, the BLS numbers show that unemployment rates are uneven across racial groups: whites, 4.8%; Asians, 5.3%; Hispanics, 6.6%; and Blacks, 8.2%.
WalletHub says based on its analysis of BLS and Federal Reserve data, the pandemic has wiped out all U.S. job gains made since the Great Recession.
Economists are carefully watching the Covid-19 variant, which is especially hitting states with low vaccination rates hard, and its impact on employment.
“The Delta variant and the risks it poses to the overall economy depend upon whether schools reopen on time and whether workers’ return to offices and other indoor venues is delayed until more people are vaccinated,” Diane Swonk, chief economist for Grant Thorton, said in a statement earlier this month. “We also need to see when the fourth wave of infections crests.”
To identify which states’ workforces are experiencing the quickest recovery from the pandemic, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on changes in unemployment claims for several key benchmark weeks. For more information about the study click here.
Jean Dimeo is managing editor of Route Fifty.
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