One of the most significant problems affecting the U.S. economy post-pandemic is the current job market and unemployment rate.
Many people have quit their jobs in search for better opportunities and more flexibility to work remotely. Additionally, unemployment benefits have posed another challenge to employers who are now having to compete with the government to save their struggling businesses.
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The U.S. unemployment rate sits at 5.8%, but is not nearly as bad as in April 2020, which was at a historic high of 14.7%. It is, without doubt, the pandemic that has made many Americans not want to return to the office; however, it seems that despite this, the unemployment rate in many states is bouncing back.
The recent May job report showed better job growth than April. Although it didn’t live up to expectations, the U.S. economy added 559,000 nonfarm jobs in addition to gains in the leisure and hospitality industry, public and private education, and health care and social assistance.
Even though it will take time to reach pre-pandemic levels and reverse the economic damage from the pandemic, things are beginning to look more positive. As more people continue to get vaccinated and individual states keep loosening restrictions, employment recovery is expected to increase in the coming months.
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To see which states’ unemployment rates are recovering the most, WalletHub conducted a study, comparing all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The study was based on five key metrics, comparing the unemployment rate from May of this year to both 2019 and 2020.
States With Strongest Unemployment Bounce Back
4 South Dakota
6 New Hampshire
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States With Slowest Unemployment Bounce Back
50 New Mexico
49 New York
45 Washington D.C.
43 New Jersey
Taking a closer look at May 2021, New Hampshire ranked number one with the lowest unemployment rate, followed by Nebraska and Vermont, who tied for having the second-to-lowest unemployment rate. In terms of the highest unemployment rate for May 2021, Hawaii ranked the worst, followed by New Mexico and California, which ranked second and third in the highest unemployment rate, respectively.
When comparing May 2020 to May 2021, New Hampshire again ranked at the top with the most recovery from unemployment. In close second was Michigan, followed by Vermont.
On the other hand, New Mexico showed the worst recovery from unemployment in May 2021 versus May 2020, followed by Washington, D.C., and Maryland in second and third to last, respectively.
Lastly, compared to May 2019, Nebraska showed the most recovery from unemployment, whereas Hawaii showed the least.