Nine states reported significant increases in first-time claims for unemployment benefits for the week ending June 20 — a sobering reminder of the ongoing economic toll of the coronavirus. Nationally, there were an additional 1.5 million people who woke up without a job during the week of June 20, which is magnitudes above normal circumstances.
The increases in the nine states are a sobering reminder of the economic toll of the coronavirus.
Reporting of the newly unemployed hop scotches across the states from week to week; in the newly filed claims, there were 12 states that reported significant decreases and 31 states that reported roughly the same level, according to Labor Department data released Thursday.
Though that is a good reason to think the worst is behind us, the virus continues to spread and there is also good reason to think that governors will begin reinstating mandatory social-distancing measures and business restrictions.
The figures below provide a synopsis of the damage to the workforce, with one more state reporting more than a half-million cumulative initial jobless claims since the economic shutdowns began. That’s a club to which no one wants to belong.
The map below shows three numbers below the state name:
- The cumulative number of initial unemployment claims since March 7, the week before the effect of shutdowns began in earnest.
- The latest increase (decrease) in the number of claims.
- The Z-score of the latest increase (decrease) in claims, which is the number of standard deviations above (below) the pre-coronavirus average.
The first number indicates the depth of the impact of the virus on the labor force.
The second number indicates the direction of the claims (i.e., a first derivative of sorts): positive numbers indicate an increase in claims and labor market distress; positive numbers approaching zero indicate the deceleration in new filings; zero would suggest a plateauing of claims; while negative numbers are an indication that businesses and employees are returning toward normal levels of claims. Negative changes in claims should be viewed relative to the cumulative number of claims.
The third number shows the degree of the shock, with Z-scores outside the range of plus-or-minus two standard deviations considered to be outside of normal occurrences.
For more information on how the coronavirus is affecting midsize businesses, please visit the RSM Coronavirus Resource Center.