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A new Wallethub analysis reports that New York has the 7th smallest increase in unemployment claims of any other state.  Despite being the epicenter of COVID-19 in the United States, the state has managed to have the 3rd lowest increase in the Number of Unemployment Insurance Initial Claims of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.  As of yesterday (Thursday) 159,937 New Yorkers had tested positive for the virus.  7,067 fatalities were reported in New York State.

Another analysis finds that New York is the most aggressive state in limiting virus exposure.  New York ranked #3 in 'prevention and containment,' #1 in tested COVID-19 cases per capita, 12th in the share of workers who have the ability to take sick leave, 6th in public healthcare spending per capita, and 11th in its at-risk population.  New York has the lowest total public health emergency preparedness funding per capita of the 50 states and District of Columbia.  New York also ranked the fourth lowest public health care system quality.

Ranking among states with the lowest rise in unemployment claims doesn't mean there aren't a lot of newly unemployed workers.  The number skyrocketed from from 44,846 in the first week of the year to 345,246 the week of March 30, 2020.
New York saw a 2639.40% rise in unemployment claims from one year ago, and a 669.85% rise when you compare this month to January.  The analysis found that blue states have an average 25.13% increase in unemployment claims, while red states have more, at an average or 27.24%.

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

Some experts are predicting that once restrictions on gathering are finally lifted, that the workforce won't just bounce back to pre-COVID-19 levels.

"The likelihood that things will just snap back to normal next week or in six months is very low," says Labor Historian, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey School of Management and Labor Relations Christopher Hayes. "As the pandemic drags on, people throughout much of America are getting used to staying inside and feeling profoundly unsettled in public spaces. It will be difficult to convince people that it is now fine to go out to eat, pack into theaters and arenas, stand on crowded public transit, and travel freely. Once businesses begin to open, not only will they be feeling the financial effects of having been shuttered for so long and operating within the confines of a recession, but they will probably have a hard time attracting customers for a while. They will desperately need those customers in order to pay off the loans that kept them afloat."

Gonzalez says that state governments can help to minimize the rise in unemployment claims.

"States should aggressively focus on helping the companies in the most need. The federal response will include sending checks to most citizens, even those whose income has not been affected by the coronavirus. States can use a more targeted approach to divert resources to the companies affected the most, thus having maximum impact for the money spent," she said.

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