As the Chinese coronavirus and government policies to slow its spread continue, business after business has been forced to adjust operations and procedures in order to adapt. Millions of employees are working from home, but for many businesses—particularly service-related enterprises like restaurants, bars, movie theaters, etc.—that isn’t an option.

Across Texas, there’ve been hundreds of thousands of workers laid off over the past couple of weeks. More are expected, as nations continue to grapple with the effect of a near-instant worldwide recession.

But as bad as the unemployment situation is in Texas, a study by WalletHub shows the state is thus far on much more solid footing than many other states.

To find the states whose unemployment percentages are most and least affected, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across two key metrics. These metrics compare unemployment claim increases for the week of March 23 to both the same week in 2019 and the first week of 2020.

The report had the following findings as it relates to the Lone Star State and unemployment claims:

  • 2135.72% increase in the Number of Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims – from 12,327 the week of March 25, 2019, to 275,597 the week of March 23, 2020. This represents the eighth-lowest increase in the U.S.
  • 2128.49% increase in the Number of Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims – from 12,367 in the first week of the year to 275,597 the week of March 23, 2020. This represents the 20th-highest increase in the U.S.

According to WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez, Texas is not alone. Republican states are faring better than their Democrat state neighbors when it comes to unemployment on the organization’s measurement index.

“With an average unemployment rank of 25, Blue States suffered a higher increase of their unemployment during the coronavirus outbreak than Red States, which rank 27 on average,” said Jill Gonzalez. “The lower the rank, the higher the increase in initial unemployment claims that state received during the coronavirus pandemic.”

Gonzalez also notes that while New York City has been one of the hardest-hit areas for the virus, the state is still faring better than the average.

“New York has seen a 717 percent increase in initial unemployment claims from the beginning of 2020 to the 13th week,” said Gonzalez. “This is better than the average increase of 2,002 percent.”

WalletHub’s full report can be viewed here.

Cary Cheshire

Cary Cheshire is the Vice President of Texans for Fiscal Responsibility. A 6th Generation Texan, Cary attended Texas A&M University was active in a number of conservative causes including Ted Cruz's Senate campaign. He has also worked on campaigns to elect conservatives to Congress and the Texas Legislature. Cary enjoys college football, genealogy research, and the occasional craft beer.

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