Unemployment fell in most states in May when the blockades were lifted and the reopened companies began to bring millions of workers back faster than some economists predicted.
The latest figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that unemployment rates were lowest in May in 38 states and the District of Columbia, highest in three states, and remained unchanged in nine states.
The national unemployment rate decreased by 1.4 percentage points during the month to 13.3 percent, as the US economy. USA It added 2.5 million jobs in May, rebounding from the record drop of 20.7 million in April.
Analysts polled by Reuters had expected the national unemployment rate to skyrocket to a record 19.8 percent.
“The numbers are a big surprise on the upside,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston. “I would suggest further confirmation that the economy will be back online.
“This is a strong sign that the effects are temporary and that the economy is improving.”
Statewide, Nevada had the highest unemployment rate in May at 25.3 percent, followed by Hawaii at 22.6 percent and Michigan at 21.2 percent. May unemployment rates in Delaware (15.8 percent), Florida (14.5 percent), Massachusetts (16.3 percent), and Minnesota (9.9 percent) set new records for the statistic, which the Department of Labor has been tracking since 1976.
The largest increases in the unemployment rate between May 2019 and May 2020 occurred in Nevada (+21.3 percentage points), Hawaii (+19.9 points) and Michigan (+17.0 points).
Twelve other states experienced increases of 10 percentage points or more in the unemployment rate in May 2020 compared to the previous year.
The largest decrease in the month-to-month unemployment rate in May occurred in Mississippi (-5.7 percentage points), Kentucky (-5.6 points) and Indiana (-5.2 points).
“It appears that we have stabilized at around 15 percent unemployment,” said Paul M. Romer, 2018 Nobel laureate in economics, referring to the national unemployment rate. The good news is that the unemployment rate has not continued to rise. But the bad news is that 15 percent is a very high level of unemployment. We have not seen such high unemployment since the Great Depression of the 1930s. “
At least 29 million people in the United States are cashing unemployment checks, according to the Department of Labor, whose most recent weekly unemployment claims report (pdf) showed that 1,508 million U.S. workers filed initial unemployment claims for the week that ends June 13. of new claims fell for the eleventh week in a row from a record $ 6.867 million in late March, initial weekly claims remained roughly double their peak during the Great Recession 2007-2009.
Continuing layoffs amid weak demand and fractured supply chains are likely to keep new claims for unemployment benefits high, fueling the view that the economy is facing a long and difficult recovery from the recession fueled by a pandemic.
“Something like 25 million people have been displaced in the workforce, either partially or due to unemployment, so we have a long way to go to get those people back to work,” said the president of the Federal Reserve. Jerome Powell to the Senate Banking Committee. on June 16 testimony.
While all states in the country implemented restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19, in June, all 50 states have begun lifting the blockades and resuming commercial activity.
The National Association of Governors, which has developed a summary of state actions addressing trade reopens, said a “robust” public health framework that includes testing and contact tracing is needed for states to resume business operations in a timely manner. safe.
“As states gradually reopen economic and social activities, they must build a robust public health infrastructure with the ability to quickly detect outbreaks, assess and isolate people who may be exposed to COVID-19, and track and deploy Quickly quarantine all positive case contacts, ”the association said in a June 24 memo.
On June 19, Federal Reserve officials warned that a second wave of deadly error could derail hopes of an economic rebound.
“Lack of containment could ultimately lead to the need for longer stops, resulting in reduced consumption and investment, and higher unemployment,” Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren said in a virtual event organized by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.
Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari warned that the recent positive trend in job growth could be reversed if the outbreak is not controlled.
“If there is a second wave, I would expect the unemployment rate to rise again,” Kashkari said during a Twitter chat moderated by CBS News.