While some states are pausing reopening processes, new unemployment claims in late June were 79% below the peak during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the latest jobs report.

WalletHub recently released updated rankings for the States Whose Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest to show what’s what and where.

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, it said in a news release.

Below see highlights from the report and see the states most recovered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Change in California Unemployment Claims (1=Quickest Recovery, 25=Avg.):

  • 558.76% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs. Last Year)
    • 279,341 the week of June 22, 2020, vs. 42,404 the week of June 24, 2019
    • 22nd slowest recovery in the U.S.
  • 660.73% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs. Start of 2020)
    • 279,341 the week of June 22, 2020, vs. 36,720 the week of January 1, 2020
    • 9th slowest recovery in the U.S.
  • 1,000.57% Change in Unemployment Claims (Since Start of COVID-19 Crisis vs. Last Year)
    • 5,938,993 between the week of March 16, 2020, and the week of June 22, 2020, vs. 593,563 between the week of March 18, 2019, and the week of June 24, 2019
    • 5th quickest recovery in the U.S.

Reopenings and More 

How will pauses in states’ reopening processes affect unemployment?

“If states pause their reopening processes, we will likely see a slowdown in job growth because people who are temporarily laid off in certain non-essential sectors will have to wait longer to get back to work,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst in the WalletHub news release. “We likely will not see a spike in new unemployment claims unless states close businesses that have already reopened. Rather than impose more lockdowns, states should focus on mandatory measures that protect everyone such as mask-wearing in public and temperature checks at workplaces and in airports.”

Do job losses from the COVID-19 pandemic tend to be temporary or permanent?

“Job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are mostly temporary, as May’s jobs report shows 15.3 million people on temporary layoff compared to 2.9 million who have permanently lost their jobs,” Gonzalez said. “Most jobless Americans expect to be rehired by their former employers, but exactly how soon that can happen will depend on both how quickly states can reopen and how safe the government and businesses can make customers feel. For example, mandatory COVID-19 testing before entering an airport could significantly alleviate people’s concerns about flying again.”

She also commented on if the wearing of masks is linked to unemployment, “Wearing masks helps prevent the release of droplets from the mouth or nose that may contain COVID-19, which consequently can help minimize the spread of the virus. Countries with more prevalent mask-wearing have been less impacted by a coronavirus, so mandating the use of masks in public may help us proceed to a full reopening sooner.

“Consumers are more comfortable going out when they know everyone will be wearing masks, according to a recent WalletHub survey, and greater confidence leads to more people leaving the house and supporting businesses again.”

And if you are curious how red states and blue states compare when it comes to recovery Gonzalez said, “With an average rank of 23 among the most recovered states, blue states had a better recovery from unemployment claims last week than red states, which rank 28 on average. The lower the number of the ranking, the bigger the state’s recovery was.”

Perhaps one of if not the hardest hits the state, New York, its unemployment  is recovering quickly, Gonzalez said in the release, “New York’s unemployment claims have experienced the 21st quickest recovery in the U.S. For the week of June 22, New York had 90,323 new unemployment claims, a 77% decrease from the peak during the coronavirus pandemic.”

To view the full report and your state’s rank, visit here.

Source: WalletHub