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Updated: SC Has the 2nd Fastest Recovery for Weekly Unemployment Claims in the U.S.

WalletHub recently updated its study on the States Whose Weekly Unemployment Claims Are Recovering the Quickest and South Carolina ranked as having the second fastest - up from tenth in the previous update.

To identify which states’ workforces are experiencing the quickest recovery from COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics based on changes in unemployment claims. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A.

Change in South Carolina Weekly Unemployment Claims (1=Quickest Recovery, 25=Avg.):To identify which states’ workforces are experiencing the quickest recovery from COVID-19, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across three metrics based on changes in unemployment claims. Below, you can see highlights from the report, along with a WalletHub Q&A. To see the states most recovered since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, click here.  

Change in South Carolina Weekly Unemployment Claims (1=Quickest Recovery, 25=Avg.):

  • 54.62% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs Last Year)
    • 4,283 the week of September 7, 2020 vs 2,770 the week of September 9, 2019
    • 2nd quickest recovery in the U.S.
  • -42.67% Change in Unemployment Claims (Latest Week vs Start of 2020)
    • 4,283 the week of September 7, 2020 vs 7,471 the week of January 1, 2020
    • The quickest recovery in the U.S.
  • 1,347.07% Change in Unemployment Claims (Since Start of COVID-19 Crisis vs Last Year)
    • 751,869 between the week of March 16, 2020 and the week of September 7, 2020 vs 55,815 between the week of March 18, 2019 and the week of September 9, 2019
    • 13th slowest recovery in the U.S.

To view the full report and your state’s rank, click here.

WalletHub Q&A

If a coronavirus vaccine is distributed before the end of the year, how could that impact unemployment?

“If a coronavirus vaccine becomes available before the end of the year, that’s great news for unemployment. If most people are vaccinated against COVID-19, the transmission risk will be minimized and we will finally be able to achieve a full reopening. Business revenue will increase, and as a result, businesses will have a greater ability to hire,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Even though it would be great to have a vaccine this year, it’s important to make sure that clinical trials are not rushed so that the final product has the best efficacy possible. We may also face an uphill battle getting people vaccinated, as recent surveys suggest as much as a third of the population would refuse the vaccine.”

Are Americans more concerned about unemployment or about COVID-19?

“Around 35 percent of Americans say COVID-19 is the biggest problem facing the U.S., compared to 3 percent who say unemployment, which shows that Americans are more focused on the pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “It’s important to remember that COVID-19 is the ultimate source of our unemployment problems, as we had record low unemployment before the pandemic which jumped to a nearly historic high due to business closures. The sooner we contain the pandemic, the sooner the employment market can recover.”

What measures can we use to detect/trace COVID-19 in the workplace to prevent outbreaks that will lead to more unemployment?

“In order to prevent outbreaks of COVID-19 in the workplace that will lead to more unemployment, we should implement testing upon arrival as well as use apps to perform swift contact tracing for any employees found to have the virus,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The problem with current COVID-19 testing is that in order to preserve accuracy it is expensive and slow. For workplaces and public spaces like airports, we need to have cheap, near-instant tests available for mass testing, even if they are not quite as accurate. Such tests are in development but need FDA approval.”

How will unemployment be impacted if schools only hold remote learning this fall?

“If schools only provide remote learning this fall, we could see a jump in unemployment. Young children will need supervision during the day, and parents who are unable to do their job remotely may be forced to take a leave from work to provide that supervision,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Forcing parents to stay home could be especially devastating financially for single-parent households. To avoid a spike in unemployment, we should create a detailed plan for having in-person learning while providing a high level of safety for students and teachers, which will allow us to minimize negative consequences for both public health and the economy.”

How has unemployment in California – the state with the most COVID-19 cases – recovered?

“California’s unemployment claims have experienced the 3rd slowest recovery in the U.S. For the week of September 7, California had 230,225 new unemployment claims, a 78% decrease from the peak during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst.

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