Massachusetts ranks number 1 for highest unemployment rate in the nation


FILE – In this March 17, 2020, file photo, people wait in line for help with unemployment benefits at the One-Stop Career Center in Las Vegas. President Donald Trump’s plan to offer a stripped-down boost in unemployment benefits to millions of Americans amid the coronavirus outbreak has thus far found little traction among the states, which would be required to pick up a quarter of the cost to deliver the maximum benefit. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

CHICAGO (NewsNation) — Massachusetts continues to hold the nation’s highest unemployment rate in July with 16.1%. Even though unemployment dropped from 17.4% in June, the state still ranks the highest for a second straight month, according to a U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday.

New York stands in second place at 15.9% while Utah had the lowest unemployment rate, 4.5% followed by Nebraska at 4.8% and Idaho at 5.0%.

The national unemployment rate is 10.2%, which was down from 11.1% in June.

In total, 28 states and the District of Columbia had jobless rates lower than the U.S. figure of 10.2%, 11 states had higher numbers, and another 11 states had rates that were not significantly different from that of the nation.

Massachusetts was one of five states in which unemployment rates rose in June; rates declined in 42 others.

Massachusetts has reopened more gradually compared to other states and has achieved one of the nation’s lowest coronavirus transmission rates.

Adjusting for seasonal employment trends, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the Massachusetts civilian labor force grew by about 130,000 people, or roughly 4%, in June, a sign that some workers did get back on the job or started looking for new work. The labor force tally includes both employed and unemployed people, but workers must be actively seeking jobs or expecting recalls to be counted as unemployed.

The ranks of the unemployed in Massachusetts swelled by almost 9%, to nearly 640,000 people in July.

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