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

With the U.S. gaining 379,000 jobs in February and the national unemployment rate at 6.2% compared to the nearly historic high of 14.7% at the peak during the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub today released updated rankings for the States Whose 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.

In order to identify the states whose unemployment rates are bouncing back most, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on five key metrics that compare unemployment rate statistics from the latest month for which we have data (February 2021) to key dates in 2019 and 2020.

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

Bounced Back Most Bounced Back Least
1. South Dakota 42. Pennsylvania
2. Alabama 43. Colorado
3. Vermont 44. New Jersey
4. Nebraska 45. Texas
5. Utah 46. New Mexico
6. New Hampshire 47. Connecticut
7. Idaho 48. California
8. Montana 49. Nevada
9. Minnesota 50. New York
10. Iowa 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 might President Biden’s May 1 deadline to make the vaccine available to all adults impact unemployment?

“President Biden’s May 1 deadline for making the vaccine available to all adults should have a very positive impact on unemployment, as businesses will be able to vaccinate all of their employees and some may limit in-person shopping to vaccinated customers. State governments will roll back capacity limits on businesses as a result, giving businesses both the need to hire more and the increased revenue to complete that hiring,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “If people know that almost everyone will be vaccinated when they walk into a business, they will get a morale boost and consumer confidence will increase, resulting in more business revenue.”

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 5.9 percent, while it’s much higher, at 10.2 percent, for black people. The racial disparity is troubling, especially in the context of broader discussions of inequality that have taken place in the past year,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The unemployment rate can fluctuate a lot by age, too; it’s only 4.9 percent for those ages 45 to 54, but 9.6 percent for people ages 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 2020?

“Hawaii has experienced the biggest increase in unemployment because the number of unemployed persons jumped by 303% from January 2020 to February 2021, compared to the average increase of 53%,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Hawaii’s overall unemployment rate is 8.5%, compared to the average of 6.2%.”

Which state has experienced the biggest decrease in unemployment vs. the beginning of 2020?

“Vermont has experienced the biggest decrease in unemployment because it has seen a 2% decrease in the number of unemployed persons from January 2020 to February 2021, compared to the average increase of 53%,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Vermont’s overall unemployment rate is 3.3%, compared to the average of 6.2%.”