After reporting the highest national unemployment rate in post-war America two weeks ago, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released further details on the state of the U.S. labor market on Friday. In providing a state-level breakdown of the unemployment situation, the data underscores how heavily the job market has been hit across the entire nation.
All 50 states and the District of Columbia saw an increase in the unemployment rate in April, with 43 states reporting the highest unemployment rates since the BLS started reporting this data series in 1976. Nevada, Michigan and Hawaii had the highest unemployment rates at 28.2, 22.7 and 22.3 percent, respectively, while Connecticut, Minnesota and Nebraska reported the lowest levels of unemployment at 7.9 percent, 8.1 percent and 8.3 percent, respectively.
Amazingly, the lowest state-level unemployment rate in April – Connecticut at 7.9 percent – would have been the highest just one month earlier. According to the BLS, Nevada saw the highest unemployment rate in March at just 6.9 percent, once again showing how grave the current situation is. The measures taken to contain the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States resulted in mass layoffs, particularly in the leisure and hospitality sector, which ultimately added up to more than 20 million lost jobs in April.