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Three states’ unemployment rates at Great Depression levels

By Masao Suzuki

Nevada, Michigan and Hawai’i see unemployment rates above 20% in April

San José, CA – On Friday, May 22, the monthly report on state-level labor markets saw the – unemployment rate for three states – Nevada, Michigan and Hawai’i – all soar to more than 20%, levels unseen since the worst of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Actual job losses, reported by business, came to almost 20% between March and April in Vermont and New York, along with Hawai’i.

Since the survey for state-level unemployment rates was taken in mid-April, as many as 15 million more unemployment insurance claims have been filed with the states and with the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program set up by the CARES act. This could add as much as 10% more to the national unemployment rate, and even more to the hardest hit states.

There were also signs that the economic crisis is spreading the housing and auto markets. 3.6 million people did not pay their mortgages in April. This rate doubled from 3.06% in March to 6.45% in April. In the 2007-2009 recession it took one and a half years for late mortgages to rise as much as it did in one month in this pandemic economic crisis.

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