(The Center Square) – Minnesota had the nation’s 10th largest increase in unemployment claims in the last week of February compared with the same week pre-pandemic, WalletHub reported last week.
WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia based on changes in unemployment claims and claims per capita to determine the ranking. New unemployment claims increased 11.1% week-over-week on Feb. 27, the report said. About 5.7 million Americans are unemployed.
According to the report, Minnesota had the 36th least claims per capita in the labor force: 145. The North Star State had a 30.53% increase in unemployment insurance initial claims in the week of Feb. 27 compared with the week of Feb. 20. It had a 36.20% higher number of claims in the week of Feb. 27 compared with the week of Feb. 25, 2019. Unemployment claims were 24.79% higher the week of Feb. 27 than in the week of Feb. 28, 2022.
Overall, blue states tended to have higher rises in unemployment claims compared with red states. Blue states’ average rank was 22, and red states ranked 31 on average in the report.
New York had the biggest increase since the prior week and the lowest number of claims per capita. District of Columbia had the smallest increase since the prior week and the 35th highest number of claims per capita.
“The bargaining position for employees appears to have worsened slightly over the past few months and that trend is likely to continue for the next few months,” Iowa State University Professor of Economic John Winters said in the report. “That said, productive workers are still in high demand in most parts of the economy.”
WalletHub Analyst Jill Gonzalez said that unemployment claims are dropping because there are still many more jobs than unemployed people, at about two openings per jobless person, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
She said it’s important to remember that most recent layoffs have been in the tech sector.
“Tech companies are more sensitive to rising interest rates because of how they’re funded, so it’s no surprise they’re also the quickest to impose layoffs,” she said. “Just because one sector is doing it, doesn’t necessarily mean the rest will follow.”
She said that if inflation continues to rise while more people lose employment, there could be a deep recession.
Winters said he recommends people have emergency savings for three to six months of expenses in easily accessible accounts, like checking, savings and no-penalty CDs. Saving money in inflation-index Treasury bonds would also be wise, he said.