Market Overview

How The US Unemployment Surge Looks State-By-State

How The US Unemployment Surge Looks State-By-State

Thirty-eight states and the District of Columbia saw unemployment rates decrease in May, with three states seeing an increase and nine states remaining stable.

What Happened: Unemployment rates in all states are higher year-over-year from 2019, according to state employment and unemployment numbers released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Nonfarm payroll employee numbers in 46 states did see an increase in May.

Nevada’s unemployment of 25.3% was the highest in the nation, with Hawaii (22.6%) and Michigan (21.8%) also taking top spots.

These three states also have seen the highest climb in unemployment on a year-over-year basis. 

Nebraska has the nation's lowest unemployment rate at 5.2%. 

National unemployment declined 1.3% from the previous month, but still remains at 13.3%. 

Why It’s Important: Twelve states reported unemployment numbers higher than the national average, while 24 were lower than the national average.

Some state economies are still being battered as industries they rely on, such as gambling or tourism, remain shut down. 

The government Payment Protection Program did help in saving a number of jobs, Dr. Charles Ballard, an economics professor at Michigan State University, told Benzinga. 

The economy is not out of the woods just yet, as unemployment claims are still climbing even as some workers return to the job.  

Most states are still seeing unemployment rates that are higher than the posted in the 2008 recession, Ballard said. 

What’s Next: A rebound in emplomyent hinges on how quickly a coronavirus vaccine is released, the economics professor said. 

Unemployment rates and general uncertainty are triggering caution in consumer spending, and Ballard said some sectors such as travel are going to continue to be adversely affected going forward.

The professor did express some optimism about employment possibly seeing an increase in certain areas as businesses such as car dealerships start to reopen.


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