Updated: States That Had the Fastest Recovery of Unemployment Claims – WalletHub Study

With increased vaccine eligibility and the gradual lifting of restrictions on businesses, new unemployment claims increased slightly week-over-week on March 29, but were still 89% below the peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help add some context to these statistics, WalletHub just released updated rankings for the States Whose Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest, along with accompanying videos and audio files.

Key Stats:

  • The good news is that every state had unemployment claims last week that were better than the same week last year.
  • The following states had unemployment claims last week that were lower than before the pandemic: Arkansas, Kansas, and Arizona.
Most Recovered Last Week Least Recovered Last Week
1. Arkansas 42. Oklahoma
2. Kansas 43. Rhode Island
3. Arizona 44. Ohio
4. South Dakota 45. Kentucky
5. New Hampshire 46. District of Columbia
6. Alabama 47. Louisiana
7. Michigan 48. Texas
8. Illinois 49. West Virginia
9. South Carolina 50. New Mexico
10. Washington 51. Virginia

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:

WalletHub Q&A

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

“It is likely that some companies will require getting the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition for employment, with obvious exemptions for people who are medically unable to receive it,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “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. In addition, the more companies that require employees to get a vaccine, the faster we will be able to achieve a full reopening.”

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

“States that are able to more efficiently vaccinate their residents will likely see better job growth than states that are less efficient. 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,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Currently, some places are far more efficient than others. For example, New Hampshire has used 90% of its vaccine supply, while Alabama has only used 61%.”

How has unemployment in California – the state with the most COVID-19 cases – recovered?

“California’s unemployment claims have experienced the 18th slowest recovery in the U.S. For the week of March 29, California had 145,367 new unemployment claims, an 86% decrease from the peak during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.