D.C’s seen biggest increase in jobless claims since COVID

Coronavirus

Hiring sign is displayed outside of a retail store in Vernon Hills, Ill., Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits plummeted last week to the lowest level in more than half a century, another sign that the U.S. job market is rebounding rapidly from last year’s coronavirus recession. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the District of Columbia has seen its unemployment claims increase more than any other place in the United States, a study by WalletHub found.

D.C. had 479% more unemployment claims last week than it did at the start of 2020, per the study.

Right behind D.C. for the largest unemployment claim increase following the pandemic are New Mexico and Rhode Island.

Nationwide, U.S. jobless claims climbed by 23,000 to 230,000 last week, the Department of Labor said.

Although overall week-over-week unemployment claims went up, this is a lot fewer than the 6.1 million claims that were filed at the peak of the pandemic, WalletHub pointed out.

Even with an increase in weekly claims nationally, 49 states had unemployment claims last week that were better than they were during the same week at this time in 2021, WalletHub found.

For their study, WalletHub, a personal finance website, compared all 50 states and D.C. based on changes in unemployment claims for what it called “several key benchmark weeks.”

Every state had more people file for unemployment benefits last week than they did before the coronavirus pandemic except for Georgia, Arkansas, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Alabama, Delaware, New York, Virginia, Maine, Maryland, Connecticut and Oklahoma, the study said.

Still, the jobs market has bounced back strongly from the coronavirus recession, when COVID-19 hit and governments ordered lockdowns and put restrictions on businesses. Millions of jobs were lost in March and April 2020, and the unemployment rate went up to 14.7%.

With the help of government spending and a vaccine rollout to the public, employers were able to add 6.4 million jobs last year. While that still isn’t enough to make up for the 9.4 million jobs lost in 2020, the unemployment rate fell last month to the lowest it’s been throughout the pandemic: 3.9%.

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