While still slow, state’s jobs recovery one of best in nation: Analysis

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – While it’s still slower than almost anyone would like, Ketucky’s employment recovery ranks among the best in the country, according to a new analysis.

With the U.S. gaining 1.8 million jobs in July and the national unemployment rate at 10.2% compared to the nearly historic high of 14.7% at the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, personal finance website WalletHub released updated rankings for the States Whose July Unemployment Rates Are Bouncing Back Most.

This report examines unemployment rates on a monthly basis, complementing the weekly analysis in WalletHub’s report on the States Whose Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest.

Kentucky ranks third best i the country i jobs recovery, according to the study.

Of neighboring states, Missouri is next at ninth. Others aren’t close with Ohio 20th, West Virginia 21st, Indiana 24th, Virginia 30th, Tennessee 36th and Illinois 40th.

In order to identify the states with the best recovery, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on four key metrics. Those included the change in each state’s unemployment during the latest month (July 2020) compared to July 2019 and January 2020, not seasonally adjusted continued claims in July 2020 to July 2019, and each state’s overall unemployment rate.

Some notes on Kentucky’s recovery:

  • 15.51% Change in Unemployment (July 2020 vs July 2019)
    • 116,765 unemployed people in July 2020 vs 101,089 in July 2019;
    • The best recovery in the U.S.
  • 18.32% Change in Unemployment (July 2020 vs January 2020)
    • 116,765 unemployed people in July 2020 vs 98,685 in January 2020;
    • The best recovery in the U.S.
  • 696.13% Change in Not Seasonally Adjusted Continued Claims (July 2020 vs July 2019)
    • 141,290 continued claims in July 2020 vs 17,747 in July 2019
    • 17th best recovery in the U.S.
  • 6.2% Unemployment Rate (July 2020)
    • 6th lowest unemployment rate in the U.S.

The July jobs report with 1.8 million jobs added was a lot less than the 4.8 million added in June, but it makes sense given the number of states that have paused reopening or reversed course due to upticks in COVID-19.

Now, the U.S. unemployment rate sits at 10.2%, which is still high but is a decline from the nearly historic high of 14.7% in April.

This drop can be attributed in part to the fact that a lot more businesses are open now than were a few months ago. In addition, most people who became unemployed during this crisis have only been temporarily laid off, and expect to be rehired by their former employers once companies reopen and start to make money again.

However, it will take far more time for us to reduce the unemployment rate to pre-pandemic levels than it did for the virus to reverse over a decade of job growth.

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