The number of jobs lost due to the coronavirus shutdown continue to mount, with the latest weekly total of Americans applying for unemployment benefits coming in at more than 950,000.
The latest swath of applications brings the total amount of jobless claims to more than 56 million over the past four months, wiping out the 20 million jobs added over the last decade by a near three-to-one margin.
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While some states have seen unemployment applications recede from record highs after the coronavirus pandemic roiled America’s employment picture, some have suffered stubbornly high job losses months into the recovery. Those have stacked up in some states to see unemployment rates shoot as high as 20%.
According to the Department of Labor’s latest report, which breaks out the insured unemployment rate (a ratio of people on unemployment benefits divided by labor force) through July 25, Nevada is currently suffering the worst employment picture with a nation-leading insured unemployment rate of nearly 24%. Hawaii and the U.S, territory of Puerto Rico round out the top three, with insured unemployment rates at 21.1% and 19.1%, respectively. Louisiana followed the top three at 17.3%.
New York, California, and Connecticut follow closely behind, all with insured unemployment rates above 15%.
Compared to pre-pandemic levels, those unemployment rates are notably higher than the worst states listed in the week ended February 22. Back then, Alaska topped the nation with a similar unemployment rate at just 2.9%. As high as the unemployment rates are now in the hardest hit states, they have still marginally improved from peaks seen months prior. Nevada, for example, has seen its unemployment rate improve 3 percentage points from 27% during the week ended May 9.
As a Yahoo Finance review of jobless claims data showed earlier, some states are recovering more quickly than others, but all are still struggling with varying economic restrictions tied to controlling the spread of the coronavirus.