Updated: States Where Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Increasing the Most – WalletHub Study

Many states are fighting against a surge in COVID-19 cases, and as a result new unemployment claims slightly increased week-over-week on December 7. To help add some context to this statistic, WalletHub just released updated rankings for the States Whose Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Increasing the Most, along with accompanying videos and audio files.

To identify which states’ workforces are experiencing the biggest increases in unemployment claims due to COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A. To see the states most impacted since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.

Biggest Increase Last Week Smallest Increase Last Week
1. Kansas 42. North Dakota
2. Illinois 43. Arkansas
3. Colorado 44. Connecticut
4. Virginia 45. Michigan
5. New Mexico 46. West Virginia
6. Delaware 47. Wyoming
7. Alaska 48. Idaho
8. Indiana 49. Iowa
9. California 50. New Jersey
10. New Hampshire 51. South Carolina

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

WalletHub Q&A

How will charitable giving affect the unemployed?

“Charitable giving should provide some relief to people who are unemployed, as despite the COVID-19 pandemic giving increased around 7.5% during the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Unemployed people need a lot of help, as there still has not been a second round of stimulus checks, and existing COVID-19 protections from the CARES Act are set to expire at the end of December. One of the biggest expiring protections is a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, which means many people could be at risk of losing their housing soon. Charitable giving may be able to prevent some people from experiencing food insecurity or homelessness until the government can provide more substantial help.”

How will the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine impact unemployment?

“Once we achieve widespread distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine, people will have much less risk of getting the virus, and as a result, businesses will be able to eventually reopen at full capacity,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “A full reopening will lead to a jump in business revenue and a greater need for workers, which means businesses will have both the desire and the resources to hire in full force. We should encourage as many people as possible to get vaccinated in order to bring about the biggest possible reduction in unemployment.”

Should the government step in to help industries like movie theaters avoid going bankrupt?

“The government should take actions to prevent highly-impacted industries such as movie theaters from going bankrupt. Government restrictions on capacity, though essential for safety, have caused many places to become unprofitable. We should protect businesses against bankruptcy to prevent another rise in unemployment,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “In order to receive assistance, companies and landlords in danger of bankruptcy should also be willing to share in the cost. The government can’t be solely responsible for bailing everyone out.”

How do red states and blue states compare when it comes to new unemployment claims?

“Blue states had an average rank of 22 among the states with the biggest increases in weekly unemployment claims, compared to 30 for red states,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The lower the number of the ranking, the larger the increase in unemployment claims was.”

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

“California’s weekly unemployment claims experienced the 9th biggest increase in the U.S. For the week of December 7, California had 202,627 new unemployment claims, compared to 178,724 last week,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.