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States Whose October Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most – WalletHub Study

With the U.S. gaining 638,000 jobs in October and the national unemployment rate at 6.9% compared to the nearly historic high of 14.7% at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub today released updated rankings for the States Whose October Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most, along with accompanying videos and audio files, to illustrate which areas of the country have had the best recovery so far.

This report examines unemployment rates on a monthly basis, complementing the weekly analysis in WalletHub’s report on the States Whose Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest.

In order to identify the states with the best recovery in unemployment, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on four key metrics. We looked at the change in each state’s unemployment during the latest month for which we have data (October 2020) compared to October 2019 and January 2020. We also compared not seasonally adjusted continued claims in October 2020 to October 2019. Finally, we considered each state’s overall unemployment rate.

Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.

Bounced Back Most Bounced Back Least
1. Iowa 42. Arizona
2. Nebraska 43. Maryland
3. Vermont 44. Massachusetts
4. Missouri 45. District of Columbia
5. South Dakota 46. New Mexico
6. Montana 47. New York
7. Utah 48. California
8. Minnesota 49. Louisiana
9. Alaska 50. Nevada
10. South Carolina 51. Hawaii

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/states-unemployment-rates/74907/

WalletHub Q&A

How will the recent vaccine news impact unemployment?

“Pfizer and BioNTech recently announced the development of a vaccine that is 90% effective in preventing COVID-19, which should eventually do wonders for reducing unemployment. If most Americans can get immunized, we can proceed to a full reopening, which will help businesses rebuild the revenue they need to rehire,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The stock market already received a big bump based on this news, but it’s important to keep in mind that the vaccine still needs to get government approval, and it will take months before it can be widely distributed after that.”

Is there a big difference in the unemployment rate among various demographics?

“The unemployment rate does differ sharply among different demographics. The unemployment rate for white people is 5.7 percent, while it’s much higher, at 10.6 percent, for black people. The racial disparity is troubling, especially in the context of broader discussions of inequality that have taken place this year,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The unemployment rate can fluctuate a lot by age, too; it’s only 6 percent for those aged 45 to 54, but 10.8 percent for people aged 20 to 24. It makes sense that people who have been in the workforce longer would have more job stability, but we should be concerned about the difficult conditions faced by young people.”

Many Americans have been unemployed for six months or more. What are some financial tips for people who fall into the long-term unemployment bracket?

“People who are unemployed for six months or more should first make sure they have exhausted all benefits or resources available to them, as some states may offer extended unemployment benefits,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “People who have run out of benefits and can’t fall back on savings should look critically at their spending and temporarily cut out anything that is non-essential, as well as look into whether they can get temporary relief on their bills through the biller’s hardship program. Some people may need to borrow money, but should avoid extremely costly options like payday loans unless absolutely necessary.”

Which state has experienced the biggest increase in unemployment vs. the beginning of the year?

“Hawaii has experienced the biggest increase in unemployment because the number of unemployed persons jumped by 368% from January 2020 to October, compared to the average increase of 52%,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Hawaii’s overall unemployment rate is 14.2%, compared to the average of 6.9%.”

Which state has experienced the biggest decrease in unemployment vs. the beginning of the year?

“Vermont has experienced the biggest decrease in unemployment because it has seen a 26% decrease in the number of unemployed persons from January 2020 to October, compared to the average increase of 52%,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Vermont’s overall unemployment rate is 2.4%, compared to the average of 6.9%.”

The above Q&A is also provided in audio format and can be edited as needed.

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