The unemployment rate is the lowest in 17 countries
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, referring to an unusually tight labor market, that 17 states have reached record lows in the unemployment rate.
The April 2022 data comes from 15 of those states that reported record high levels of unemployment at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, according to the US Department of Labor.
The states are located in the Midwest, South, and Western Mountains, according to the analysis.
In addition to two states in red, Oklahoma and Arkansas, which had record low unemployment rates earlier this year, the red states led by Republicans had reported a record low unemployment rate in April.
- Red states: Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia.
- Battlefield States: Arizona, Georgia, and Wisconsin.
- And one blue state: Minnesota.
The lowest unemployment rates in the country come in Nebraska and Utah, both at 1.9%.
The record high unemployment rate in the United States nationwide in April 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns was 14.7%, the highest rate since 1948.
The newspaper reported that “more rural and less densely populated” areas have seen lower unemployment rates since the pandemic began due to “more flexible restrictions and more pandemic-resistant industrial job mixes,” economists told the magazine.
The job numbers suggest some strength in the economy, despite rising inflation and a shortage of supplies in both goods and jobs, according to the report.
A shortage of jobs will eventually lead to wage increases as demand outstrips supply, and firms with higher costs will have to pass that cost on to the consumer at higher prices.
“Anytime you have trillions of extra dollars roaming the economy chasing more goods and services produced by fewer people, you’re going to have a very, very tight labor market,” ZipRecruiter’s Julia Pollack told the newspaper.
According to the report, high-tourism states like Hawaii and Nevada, which rely on affordable airfares, are struggling to keep up with low-employment states.
“When you’ve disrupted that much, it can take a long time for you to recover,” Pollack told the newspaper. “Tourist numbers will return faster than companies hiring service workers.”
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