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Midwest states recovering poorly from pandemic unemployment

While the entire nation was devasted by mass unemployment claims during the COVID-19 pandemic, most states are well on the way to a full recovery.

Except in the Midwest.

According to a WalletHub report issued Thursday, nearly every state in the nation has made employment gains since March 2020. Exceptions include Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

North Dakota, Georgia, California, Colorado, and Utah also fared poorly according to research by WalletHub, a personal finance website approaching a decade in business.

WalletHub ranked all 50 states and the District of Columbia from one for quickest employment recovery to 51 for the slowest. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Indiana ranks 51st, Ohio 49th, Michigan 46th, Illinois 41st, and Minnesota 37th.

Wisconsin fared somewhat better, ranking 23rd for the slowest recovery since the beginning of the pandemic. Iowa ranked third in the nation for slowest recovery since the beginning of the pandemic.

Methodology for reporting in this statistical ranking was based on the change in number of unemployment insurance initial claims two years after the pandemic started versus the pre-pandemic year. This, WalletHub says, “refers to the change in the number of unemployment insurance initial claims between the weeks of March 7, 2022, to June 6, 2022, compared to the weeks of March 4, 2019, to June 3, 2019.

Data was supplied by the U.S. Department of Labor.

WalletHub says 22.7 million jobs were added to the U.S. economy since the Jan. 1, 2010 end of the Great Recession compared to the 22 million jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since May 2020, 22.2 million jobs were recovered nationwide.

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