Washington ranked No. 19 state in the nation for decreased unemployment claims

Washington ranked No. 19 in terms of states where unemployment claims have decreased the most, according to a recent study by WalletHub.

The personal finance website examined unemployment insurance initial claims for several key weeks to determine its ordering of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

“The U.S. has reduced unemployment from record highs during the COVID-19 pandemic to near record lows,” the WalletHub report notes. “Now, however, high inflation and the looming threat of a recession could cause unemployment claims to spike once more. For the time being, the job market is still in good shape, despite new unemployment claims increasing slightly week-over-week on July 25.”

Some 5.9 million Americans are currently unemployed, according to the report.

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez delved into Washington’s ranking on the list.

“Washington ranks in the top 20 states where unemployment claims have decreased the most since last week,” she told The Center Square in an email. “The state registered an over 31% drop in the number of unemployment insurance initial claims in the past week compared to the same week of 2019 – the seventh biggest decrease in the country.”

That’s encouraging news for the Evergreen State, given the headwinds currently battering the economy.

“These numbers indicate that despite high inflation and the threat of recession, Washington's labor market is still in good shape,” Gonzalez said.

Inflation hit a 40-year record in June, with consumer prices increasing 9.1% over the last 12 months, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The U.S. economy contracted 0.9% from April through June, according to the Commerce Department. During the previous quarter – January through March – the national economy contracted 1.6%.

Two consecutive quarters of negative economic growth is the traditional definition of a recession.

The Evergreen State outperformed its Pacific Northwest neighbors in WalletHub’s study. Oregon was ranked No. 38, and Idaho was ranked No. 46 – sixth worst in the nation.

The 10 states where unemployment rates are decreasing the most:

1. Kentucky

2. New Hampshire

3. Kansas

4. Mississippi

5. Massachusetts

6. Louisiana

7. Illinois

8. Alabama

9. Wyoming

10. Arkansas

The 10 states where unemployment rates are decreasing the least:

51. Connecticut

50. Oklahoma

49. West Virginia

48. North Dakota

47. Nevada

46. Idaho

45. Hawaii

44. Iowa

43. Rhode Island

42. North Carolina

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