The number of jobs lost due to the coronavirus shutdown continue to mount, with the latest weekly total of Americans applying for unemployment benefits topping 4.4 million.
The latest swath of applications brings the total amount of jobless claims to 26 million over the last five 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 last four weeks to the week before shutdowns started occurring, reveals Georgia, Michigan, and Alabama to be the top states showing the largest percentage spike in citizens applying for unemployment benefits. Each state saw jobless claims spike nearly 5,000% versus the week ending March 14.
Indiana and New Hampshire also saw sustained jobless claims over the past month, both averaging a more than 4,000% increase to unemployment claims compared to the week ended March 14. If it’s any consolation, all of the top five states that were hit the hardest showed a decline in jobless claims for the second consecutive week compared to the week prior.
Florida, however, bucked that trend, showing a noteworthy surge of more than 400,000 jobless claims in the latest report. That would serve to indicate job losses in the state are far from seeing a peak.
Virginia, Louisiana, and Kentucky rounded out the top 10 states enduring the sharpest percentage spike in jobless claims over the period analyzed.
Economists expect more unemployment claims in weeks to come as businesses remain shuttered. Making matters worse last week, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was put in place to help businesses keep employees on their payrolls, exhausted 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.
The Senate passed a bill that would re-allocate another $310 billion for PPP loans. The House is expected to approve that plan in a vote scheduled for Thursday afternoon.