Washington state ranked 34th in the nation for drop in unemployment claims

Washington state ranks in the bottom half of the country in terms of decreasing unemployment claims, coming in at No. 34 in an analysis from Wallet Hub released on Thursday.

To determine its rankings, the personal finance website compared all 50 states and the District of Columbia based on changes in unemployment claims for several key benchmark weeks, with a focus on the number of claims per 100,000 people in the labor force.

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez spoke about the factors influencing the Evergreen State’s ranking.

“Washington is among the bottom 20 states where unemployment claims have decreased the least,” she said in an email to The Center Square. “In fact, there were over 16% more unemployment insurance initial claims last week than the week before. Overall, the number of unemployment claims per capita in Washington is currently the 15th largest in the country.”

According to the state Employment Security Department, Washington added 1,500 jobs in September, with the unemployment rate holding steady at 3.7%.

“This increase comes as a direct consequence of all the Fed rate hikes that have occurred in the past months,” Gonzalez noted.

On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve approved a fourth-straight rate hike of three-quarters of a percentage point as part of its plan to bring down persistently high inflation bedeviling the U.S. economy.

Washington fared better on WalletHub’s list that its Pacific Northwest neighbors. Idaho was ranked No. 40, while Oregon came in dead last at No. 51.

The 10 states where unemployment claims decreased the most since last week:

1. Kentucky

2. New Hampshire

3. North Carolina

4. Arkansas

5. Tennessee

6. West Virginia

7. Delaware

8. Mississippi

9. Maryland

10. New Mexico

The 10 states where unemployment claims decreased the least since last week:

51. Oregon

50. Alaska

49. Rhode Island

48. Montana

47. Indiana

46. North Dakota

45. Virginia

44. South Dakota

43. Minnesota

42. Maine

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