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US employment shows mixed-signals along the path to recovery

13 states – including South Carolina, Colorado, and Utah – had high unemployment claims.

US hiring was stronger than expected in November, while unemployment held steady
Image: - © AFP Justin TALLIS
Image: - © AFP Justin TALLIS

New unemployment claims pertaining to the U.S. economy decreased slightly week-over-week on January 23 amid high inflation and the threat of a recession. At the same time, employers added 517,000 jobs last month, the U.S. Labor Department is reported to have told the BBC. This is far more than many analysts expected, pushing the unemployment rate down to 3.4 percent – the lowest rate since 1969.

To help add some context to the economic indicators the website WalletHub has released rankings for the U.S. states “Where Unemployment Claims Are Decreasing the Most.”

The analysis finds that 24 states had unemployment claims that were lower than in the previous week. These were: Kentucky, Arkansas, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, Rhode Island, Maine, Missouri, Michigan, Idaho, California, Louisiana, Alabama, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Arizona, North Carolina, Delaware, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Washington and Connecticut.

As a sign of improved economic performance, every state had unemployment claims last week that were lower than in the same week pre-pandemic (2019) except for Minnesota, Idaho, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Tennessee, North Carolina, New York, Indiana, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Oregon and Utah.

However, 13 states – including South Carolina, Colorado, and Utah – had unemployment claims last week that were worse than the same week last year.

The states that saw the greatest reduction were:

1. Kentucky

2. West Virginia

3. Maryland

4. Arkansas

5. New Hampshire

6. Oklahoma

7. Delaware

8. Maine

9. District of Columbia

10. Florida

In contrast, the states that recorded the weakest reductions were:

42. Hawaii

43. Wisconsin

44. Alaska

45. Kansas

46. New York

47. Colorado

48. Montana

49. Georgia

50. Oregon

51. Utah The signs overall are encouraging and other economic signals suggest the gap between job openings and hiring, which also suggests that wage growth could remain high.

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Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, business, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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