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Health and Wellness

Unemployment Insurance Claims Fall as Enhanced Benefit Ends

After two consecutive weeks of increases in initial unemployment claims, claims fell by 249,000 to 1,186,000, the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. The decline is at least partially due to the end of the $600 enhance unemployment benefit provided in the Cares Act, the loss of which reducing the incentive to file a claim.

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Unemployment Insurance Claims Back Up GDP Decline

The week ending July 25, 2020, was the 19th week during which over 1 million initial claims were filed. Consistent with the estimated 2nd quarter GDP decline of 32.9 percent, the US economy ails from the pandemic-induced recession.

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Seasonally Adjusted Unemployment Claims Rise

The week ending July 18, 2020, was the 17th week during which over 1 million initial claims were filed. With 32 states realizing an increase in initial UI claims, it also marked the first time since March that seasonally adjusted claims increased from the previous week.

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COVID-19 Threatens Economic Recovery as Unemployment Claims Increase

The week ending July 4, 2020, was the 16th week during which over 1 million initial claims were filed. With 32 states realizing an increase in initial UI claims, it also marked the first time since March that seasonally unadjusted claims increased from the previous week.

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Pandemic-Related Recession Keeps Unemployment Claims Elevated

Despite an optimistic jobs report last week, recessionary effects, like decreasing orders for manufactured goods and lackluster consumer spending, are contributing to the numbers of those furloughed or laid off. Additionally, some states are reinstating restrictions on businesses, such as closing bars and increasing limits on restaurant capacity, to limit growth in COVID-19 cases.

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Unchanged Initial Unemployment Claims Means Economic Stagnation

With almost no change in the number of initial unemployment claims over last week, some state economies may be worse off this week than last. Several southern and western states have realized rises in COVID-19 cases, and a few states are reinstating measures to limit its spread. These efforts, combined with employees contracting or quarantining due to COVID-19 exposure, is hampering employers in hiring back furloughed employees.

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Unemployment Claims Flat as Economies Reopen Without Hiring

As states continue to lift restrictions on businesses, hiring is stagnant, even though spending is increasing somewhat. According to Chetty et al. (2020)1, until high-income households emerge from isolation and resume spending at pre-pandemic levels employment will not grow significantly. New COVID-19 hotspots throughout the country further complicate the situation as workers seek assistance while they quarantine and/or recover.

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Pandemic Unemployment Persists, even as States Continue to Loosen Restrictions

Businesses continue to face challenges to increasing production, sales and employment levels, and rising COVID-19 cases in many places across the country further complicate these processes (e.g., workers having to quarantine after exposure, limiting available workers).

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States Expand Economic Reopening but Unemployment Persists

Rising COVID-19 cases and safety requirements, supply chain issues, and childcare issues are some of the factors making it difficult for businesses to return to pre-pandemic production and employment levels. The worst-hit states continue to be those dependent on tourism and manufacturing.

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Despite Reopening Economies, Insured Unemployment Rates Rise in 13 States

As states continue to reopen their economies, insured unemployment rates fell in 37 states, indicating that fewer workers are receiving unemployment insurance benefits. However, 13 states saw their insured unemployment rate increase, and factors like limited capacity requirements at restaurants and retailers, consumer fears, and supply chain disruptions continued to weigh down employment growth.

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Return of Employment Slow, Millions Still Seek Unemployment Assistance

This week’s report revealed that roughly 1.9 million initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed the week ending May 23, 2020. An additional 1.2 million claims were filed for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.

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Initial Unemployment Insurance Claims Continue Rise as States Catch Up; Continued Claims Fall in Some States

This week’s report revealed that nearly 2.98 million initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed the week ending May 9, 2020. Nineteen states saw their continued claims fall, suggesting that people may be going back to work in those states.

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Rise in Unemployment Insurance Claims Moderating, Foreshadows Record Job Losses

This week’s report revealed that nearly 3.17 million initial claims for unemployment insurance were filed the week ending May 2, 2020, suggesting that tomorrow’s release of the April jobs report will reveal record job losses. Only 6 states realized an increase in initial claims, and these increases were much lower than in previous weeks ranging from 3,125 to 27,337.

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Insured Unemployment Rates Chart Progress in Reopening States’ Economies

In addition to our analysis on initial and cumulative unemployment insurance claims by state, we introduce analysis on insured unemployment rates by state to better monitor responses to states that are reopening their economies.

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Michigan’s Economy Derailed and Underlying Health Conditions Exacerbated by COVID-19

New weekly unemployment insurance claims continue to moderate, but remain at levels unseen before the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, new claims filed since March 1st are now above 20 percent of pre-outbreak employment in some states.


Michigan has been hit particularly hard, with the worst mortality rate in the country and the second-worst share of pre-outbreak employment that have filed unemployment insurance claims.

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Louisiana in the Bullseye of the COVID-19 Economic Crisis

New weekly unemployment insurance claims have come down slightly from last week's record-setting levels. Looking at the unemployment insurance data and data on confirmed COVID-19 cases, Louisiana is being severely impacted from both a health and economic perspective.

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Another Record-breaking Week for Unemployment Claims as Coronavirus Fallout Continues

New unemployment insurance claims rose again for the U.S. and most states, as the fallout from the coronavirus continues.

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COVID-19 Impacts Lead to Record-setting Rise in Unemployment Claims

The economic slowdown resulting from the coronavirus outbreak has led to massive increases in new unemployment insurance claims

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Coronavirus Regional Economic Impacts and Policy Responses

How COVID-19 will impact communities in the Heartland and beyond, and how policymakers can respond

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Unemployment Claims Predict Future Economic Impacts of COVID-19

Recent federal changes to the unemployment insurance (UI) program authorized employee eligibility under certain conditions related to COVID-19

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Navigating the Coronavirus Outbreak: How a Chinese Economic Slowdown Could Impact a Vulnerable Heartland Trucking Industry

How a Chinese economic slowdown could impact a vulnerable Heartland trucking industry

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American Heartland Counties Targeted by Chinese Tariffs on U.S. Crops

Trade and tariffs with China cause economic hardship on America’s Heartland Economy – counties and crops across the Heartland are affected most.

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How do Research Universities Contribute to Regional Economies?

The American research university is the nation’s best defense against economic competition from the rest of the world. Research shouldn’t be confined to a library, lab, or lecture hall. When it comes to America’s research universities, across the Heartland and beyond, data show that when universities and communities collaborate, the positive impacts on the workforce, tax base, startup activity and economy opportunity grow exponentially.

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Micropolitan Success Stories from the Heartland

Smaller locales are not necessarily known for their economic dynamism. Nonetheless, cluster attributes exist through thoughtful guidance. The five communities’ economic successes were not the result of random, serendipitous events.

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