State Watch

Unemployment rate exceeded 20 percent in three states last month

The jobless rate exceeded 20 percent in Hawaii, Michigan and Nevada last month, when 43 states hit record-high unemployment because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to Labor Department figures released Friday.

Nevada had the highest unemployment rate in the country at 28.2 percent, almost double the national average of 14.7 percent. Michigan followed with 22.7 percent and Hawaii had 22.3 percent of its labor force looking for work.

Seven other states had jobless rates above the national average, which was just 3.5 percent as recently as February.

The report on state unemployment found that the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were not evenly distributed, even though all states were in worse shape than the previous month.

Connecticut had the lowest unemployment rate, at 7.9 percent, followed by 8.1 percent in Minnesota and 8.3 percent in Nebraska.

Jobless rates in swing states are likely to influence the race for the White House and key congressional contests. Florida and Arizona each had unemployment rates below the national average, at 12.9 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively.

In Pennsylvania, the rate hit 15.1 percent, whereas it was slightly lower in Wisconsin at 14.1 percent. Trump won both states in 2016.

States hit hard by the coronavirus — New York and California — had jobless rates of 14.5 percent and 15.5 percent.

Tags Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic unemployment rate

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