Skip to main content

States With the Biggest Jump in Unemployment

Reopening is happening in stages, and some states have been hit harder than others by the COVID-19 crisis. Here are the states with major job losses.

Since the COVID-19 crisis began, at least 40 million Americans have found themselves temporarily or permanently out of a job, and this week's jobs data are expected to show the unemployment rate is nearly 20%.

The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey calls for the jobless rate to rise to 19.6%, the highest since the Great Depression. 

While reopening of businesses will certainly get people back to work, it’s happening in stages, and many businesses may be unable to recover or might not have the resources to rehire everyone.

Some states have been hit harder than others: some have been shut down longer, while others may be more dependent on industries that were heavily affected, such as travel and tourism, and the energy industry. 

To identify the states where employment has risen most in the COVID-19 crisis, WalletHub compared increases in unemployment claims in all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on data as of May 18 and overall since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, March 16, as well as since January. Reopening dates are from the New York Times, and it should be noted that while some states had no statewide order, many of their local governments had varying degrees of shutdowns that may still be in the process of reopening. 

Based on WalletHub's study, these are the states with the biggest increase in unemployment since January, 2020.