Unemployment Rates: Better or Worse than Pre-Pandemic Lows?

 Eric P. Fox – Chief Economist, Veros Real Estate Solutions

Drew Rumfola – Economics Intern, Veros Real Estate Solutions

What do Nebraska, South Dakota, and Montana all have in common? Their unemployment rates (seasonally adjusted) in June 2021 were at or lower than their lowest unemployment rates PRIOR to the pandemic! Nebraska led the way with an unemployment rate of 2.5% in June 2021 and a pre-pandemic low of 2.9% in January 2020. Both South Dakota and Montana had identical unemployment rates in June 2021 as then did at the pre-pandemic lows.

Chart showing States with Unemployment Rates at or lower than their pre-pandemic low

New Hampshire, West Virginia, Utah, and Kentucky are all knocking on the door of their pre-pandemic lows with June 2021 unemployment rates just 0.3% larger.

Chart showing States with Unemployment Rates Significantly Higher than their pre-pandemic low

Several states are significantly worse in June 2021 than they were at their pre-pandemic lows. Hawaii leads the pack with a June 2021 unemployment rate of 7.7% that was only 2.0% prior to the pandemic. Others close to Hawaii include Connecticut, Nevada, New York, and Illinois.

Chart showing States with Unemployment Rates Slightly Higher than their pre-pandemic low

Unemployment rates and house prices are linked with states having a difficult time returning to pre-pandemic unemployment levels facing more headwinds to robust house price growth compared to those states quickly returning to their pre-pandemic unemployment levels.

*Pre-pandemic low is defined as the lowest monthly state unemployment rate from Jan 2020 to Mar 2020

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