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COVID & Unemployment

There are big variations in the state-by-state unemployment picture

Mitchell Hartman Sep 21, 2020
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States that rely heavily on face-to-face service jobs, like New York, have the highest unemployment. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
COVID & Unemployment

There are big variations in the state-by-state unemployment picture

Mitchell Hartman Sep 21, 2020
Heard on:
States that rely heavily on face-to-face service jobs, like New York, have the highest unemployment. Spencer Platt/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The national unemployment rate has fallen from nearly 15% in April down to 8.4% percent last month.

That number, however, masks some big differences in how states are recovering from the huge job losses resulting from the pandemic.

States that rely heavily on face-to-face service jobs have the highest unemployment. Nevada, Hawaii, California and New York have unemployment rates ranging from 11% to more than 13%.

“Travel, tourism, hospitality, dining — those states continue to be hit hard here,” said Jill Gonzalez with the personal finance website WalletHub.

It also matters when and how hard the pandemic hit. Daniel Sternberg at HR platform Gusto said, according to his data, New York still hasn’t recovered all the small business jobs it lost in the spring.

“Because we saw such large declines in some of the service sector, food and beverage, etc., early in the crisis,” Sternberg said.

There are some farm states doing much better. Gonzalez said their main industries, “were simply not as affected by COVID-19. So agriculture, grocery stores, certainly needed those shipments in.”

So unemployment rates in Idaho, Nebraska, South Dakota and Vermont have now fallen below 5%.

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