States Whose July Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most – Study

With the U.S. gaining 1.8 million jobs in July and the national unemployment rate at 10.2% compared to the nearly historic high of 14.7% at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, WalletHub released updated rankings for the States Whose July Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most, 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 (July 2020) compared to July 2019 and January 2020. We also compared not seasonally adjusted continued claims in July 2020 to July 2019. Finally, we considered each state’s overall unemployment rate.

Q&A

Many Americans are approaching six months unemployed. 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.”

How will a decrease in summer travel affect unemployment?

“A decrease in summer travel due to COVID-19 will keep the rate of unemployment in the travel and tourism industries high compared to other sectors, as they will receive a much smaller inflow of cash than normal and consequently will have reduced hiring power until we proceed to a full reopening,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Reduced summer travel could be a good thing for local merchants in places that aren’t tourist hubs, as people’s ‘staycations’ could inject more money into the local economy and help businesses hire more, or at least stay afloat. Cities that are popular vacation destinations will get less traffic from outsiders but may see more visits to attractions from locals who know there will be fewer tourists.”

What can states do to support people who are unemployed, other than provide traditional benefits?

“Aside from financial assistance, the best way for states to support unemployed residents is to facilitate a safe reopening that allows businesses to start rehiring. States should prioritize reopening places that help unemployed people get back to work, such as libraries with free Wi-Fi where they can conduct job searches and childcare programs that allow parents to go to work,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Safety should be the number one concern in any state’s reopening process, so a big part of getting people back to work is requiring face masks in public and other restrictive measures to prevent a resurgence of COVID-19.”

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

“Massachusetts has experienced the biggest increase in unemployment because the number of unemployed persons jumped by 369% from January 2020 to July, compared to the average increase of 136%,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Massachusetts’ overall unemployment rate is 16.2%, compared to the average of 10.2%.”

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

“Kentucky has experienced the smallest increase in unemployment because it has seen an 18% increase in the number of unemployed persons from January 2020 to July, compared to the average increase of 136%,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Kentucky’s overall unemployment rate is 6.2%, compared to the average of 10.2%.”

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

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