New unemployment claims decreased week-over-week on September 27, and were 95% below the peak during the COVID-19 pandemic. To help add some context to these statistics, WalletHub just released updated rankings for the States Whose Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest.

Key Stats:

  • 18 states had unemployment claims last week that were lower than before the pandemic: South Carolina, Arkansas, West Virginia, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Nevada, Illinois, Washington, New Hampshire, Arizona, North Dakota, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey.
  • Surprisingly, D.C. had unemployment claims last week that were worse than the same week last year.
Most Recovered Last Week Least Recovered Last Week
1. South Carolina 42. Oregon
2. Arkansas 43. Alabama
3. Kansas 44. Tennessee
4. South Dakota 45. New Mexico
5. West Virginia 46. Hawaii
6. Montana 47. California
7. New Hampshire 48. Nebraska
8. Missouri 49. Michigan
9. Illinois 50. Virginia
10. Washington 51. District of Columbia

To view the full report and your state’s rank, please visit:

WalletHub Q&A

What do you make of the recent rise in unemployment claims?

“We should not be too worried about the recent rise in unemployment claims, as they are on a sharp downward trend overall. The peak was 6.1 million claims in a single week in March 2020, and we’ve brought that number down to 352,000 as of the week of September 25, 2021,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The most recent number of weekly unemployment claims is comparable to the amount we had in early October 2013. However, it is still around 150,000 above the record low we saw at the beginning of 2020.”

How might the expiration of extra unemployment benefits impact unemployment?

“The expiration of extra unemployment benefits should help to reduce unemployment. Some people were making more money while unemployed than they did when they were employed, but that will no longer be the case. Therefore, those people will have more of an incentive to seek out employment to make up for the drop in income,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Currently, the U.S. has more job openings than unemployed people, so people brought back to the workforce by the expiration of the extra benefits will have many opportunities to get hired.”

How do red states and blue states compare when it comes to recovery?

“With an average rank of 29 among the most recovered states, blue states had a worse recovery from unemployment claims last week than red states, which rank 23 on average,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The lower the number of the ranking, the bigger the state’s recovery was.”

How has unemployment in California – the state with the most COVID-19 cases – recovered?

“California’s unemployment claims have experienced the 5th slowest recovery in the U.S. For the week of September 27, California had 68,208 new unemployment claims, a 94% decrease from the peak during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.