Unemployment rates rose and total employment fell in all 50 states and Washington in April, the department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said in a release (pdf). The 43 states that set new unemployment rate records can be found in Table A of the linked document.
Hardest hit was Nevada, the state with the greatest reliance on the embattled food services and hospitality industry. The jobless rate in Nevada surged 21.3 percentage points to 28.2 percent, nearly twice April’s national unemployment rate.
The states with the second and third highest jobless rates in April were Michigan, which hit 22.7 percent after seeing a monthly surge of 18.4 percentage points, and Hawaii, where the unemployment rate grew by 19.9 percentage points to 22.3 percent.
The national unemployment rate rose by 10.3 percentage points over the month of April to 14.7 percent.
The smallest over-the-month jobless rate increases took place in Nebraska (+4.3 percentage points) and Connecticut (+4.5 percentage points.)
All 50 states and Washington saw nonfarm payroll employment numbers plunge in April. The largest job drops occurred in California (-2,344,700), New York (-1,827,300), and Texas (-1,298,900).
U.S. stock indexes moved in a flat-to-low range on Friday as markets have struggled to gauge the pace of economic recovery from the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
Still, investor optimism over the U.S. economy gradually emerging from the lockdowns have put the major indexes on course for weekly gains, with the S&P 500 set to add more than 2 percent.
That optimism was echoed by both President Donald Trump and his top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, who said Wednesday that economic output in the third quarter could surge by 21.5 percent, which Kudlow said would make it “the biggest growth quarter in American history.”
Kudlow, speaking at a White House meeting Wednesday with the governors of Arkansas and Kansas, based his comments on revised economic estimates by the Congressional Budget Office, which predicted a second-quarter annualized contraction of 37.7 percent that the presidential adviser called a “predictably rough pandemic contraction.”
As states have imposed restrictions on work and travel, the second quarter of 2020 has been widely predicted to be the worst in American history, with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell recently estimating gross domestic product (GDP) in Q2 would fall by between 30 and 40 percent.
But as states begin to lift lockdowns, there are signs of green shoots.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican, told Trump at the meeting that his state is “back to work” and that the state’s sales tax revenue will likely bounce back faster than expected.
Trump, who has championed reopening of the country to speed an economic revival said Wednesday, “We’re going to open up. I call it ‘transition to greatness.’”
“I think you’re going to have a very good fourth quarter,” Trump added, calling the third quarter “a great transition period.”
“States are opening up, some rapidly, safely,” the president said.
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