Thanks to the progress made toward vaccination and reopening, new unemployment claims decreased week-over-week on March 1 and were 90% below the peak during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new study called  States Whose Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest  was recently released to
to identify which states’ workforces are experiencing the quickest recovery from COVID-19.

According to a news release, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics based on changes in unemployment claims.

For instance, the change in California Weekly Unemployment for California according to Jill Gonzalez, a WalletHub analyst, “California’s unemployment claims have experienced the 21st slowest recovery in the U.S. For the week of March 1, California had 105,861 new unemployment claims, a 90% decrease from the peak during the coronavirus pandemic,”

American Rescue Plan

If you are wondering how will the newly-passed American Rescue Plan impact the unemployed, Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst said, “The American Rescue Plan should have a positive impact on the unemployed, and the extension of the extra weekly $300 in unemployment benefits through September is the most helpful aspect. By September, everyone who wants a vaccine should be vaccinated, which means businesses will have much looser restrictions and can begin hiring in full force.

“The American Rescue Plan’s $7 billion in new Paycheck Protection Program funding will be incredibly helpful, too, because the same program saved over 51 million jobs the first time around. Both unemployed and employed Americans should also use the package’s $1,400 stimulus checks to make payments on essential bills or rebuild their savings.”

Mandatory Vaccine?

Does she expect companies to require getting the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition for employment?

“Some companies will likely require getting the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition for employment, with obvious exemptions for people who are medically unable to receive it,” Gonzalez said in the news release.

“Companies should be able to have a COVID-19 vaccine requirement because they need to do everything in their power to keep their workers and customers safe. Also, the more companies that require employees to get a vaccine, the faster we will be able to achieve a full reopening.”

And how might a state’s efficiency at administering the COVID-19 vaccine affect unemployment?

“States that can more efficiently vaccinate their residents will likely see better job growth than less efficient states. 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,” Gonzalez said,

“Currently, some states are far more efficient than others. For example, North Dakota has used 87% of its vaccine supply, while Georgia has only used 64%.”

Red vs. The Blue States

How do red states and blue states compare when it comes to recovery?

“With an average rank of 24 among the most recovered states, blue states had a better recovery from unemployment claims last week than red states, which rank 28 on average,” Gonzalez added in the news release.

“The lower the number of the ranking, the bigger the state’s recovery was.”

To see the states most recovered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Source: WalletHub