The number of jobs lost due to the coronavirus shutdown continue to mount, with the latest weekly total of Americans applying for unemployment benefits nearly topping 4 million yet again.
The latest swath of applications brings the total amount of jobless claims to about 30 million over the past six weeks, more than wiping out the 20 million jobs added over the last decade.
But some states have been feeling the impact of job losses more than others. A Yahoo Finance review of jobless claims data from the U.S. Department of Labor reveals that Michigan and the South have been particularly hard hit since the coronavirus pandemic brought the country’s economy to a grinding halt.
Comparing each state’s average weekly jobless claims totals over the past five weeks to the week before shutdowns started occurring, reveals Georgia, Florida, and Alabama to be the states showing the largest percentage spike in people applying for unemployment benefits. Each state saw jobless claims spike nearly 5,000% versus the week ending March 14.
Interestingly, Florida surged from seventh in last week’s reading to second place now due to another 432,000 unemployment claims being filed last week. The state was among the last in the nation to implement a stay-at-home order and thus is experiencing a later spike in unemployment claims.
Michigan also saw sustained jobless claims over the past month, averaging a more than 4,100% increase to unemployment claims compared to the week ended March 14. New Hampshire also posted a noteworthy jump at a more than 3,800% increase in jobless claims over the same period.
Indiana and Kentucky rounded out the top seven states enduring the sharpest percentage spike in jobless claims over the period analyzed.
Economists expect more unemployment claims in weeks to come despite lockdown orders being lifted in certain states. Making matters worse last week, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was put in place to help businesses keep employees on their payrolls, sat idle after exhausting the $349 billion it was originally allocated after just 13 days. Some, including Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, have critiqued the program for not allocating funds efficiently to businesses in need.
PPP loans were handed out once again this week after Congress passed a bill that re-allocated another $310 billion for the program.