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 5.24 million.
The latest swath of applications brings the total amount of jobless claims to 22 million over the last four 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 has 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 three weeks to the week before shutdowns started occurring, reveals Michigan, Georgia, and Alabama to be the top states showing the largest percentage spike in citizens applying for unemployment benefits. Each state saw jobless claims spike more than 5,000% versus the week ending March 14.
Indiana, New Hampshire, and Virginia also saw sustained jobless claims over the past month, all 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 six states that were hit the hardest showed a decline in jobless claims in the latest report compared to the week prior.
North Carolina, Kentucky, and Louisiana 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 maters worse, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was put in place to help businesses keep employees on their payrolls announced Thursday that it had exhausted the $349 billion it was allocated. Some, including Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran, have critiqued the program for not allocating funds efficiently to businesses in need.