Where are the Worst States to be Unemployed?

Where are the Worst States to be UnemployedAlthough the number of people employed has seen a reduction across the U.S., there are still scores of people who remain unemployed. Those who remain unemployed have seen slashes in emergency unemployment compensation (EUC) benefits thanks to the sequester, which went into effect earlier in the year.

Emergency unemployment compensation was intended to lengthen the amount of time an unemployed resident can receive unemployment benefits, extending the timeframe beyond what the state benefits provide. Cutting emergency unemployment compensation definitely has impacted many households who have members that are unemployed.

Although the EUC program was extended, meaning those who qualified within the specified timeframes could still receive benefits, as the sequester began, the benefits were slashed. While overall unemployment rates have fallen, there are still more than 12 million people in the U.S. who continue to seek work. Of course, there are people in some parts of the country who would have a more favorable outlook, meaning they would be more likely to find work.

Which states are the worst to be unemployed? According to the experts who have gone over the statistics, Tennessee ranks number one with an unemployment rate of 8.5 percent, which is the tenth highest in the country. It has a one-year job growth of only 1.2 percent, making it the 22nd lowest, and in the average weekly wage covered by unemployment compensation, it ranks the 9th lowest indicating only about 28.6 percent of the unemployed person’s salary is covered with unemployment. Only about 30 percent of those in the state who are unemployed are currently receiving benefits, according to records.

The second worst state to live if you need a job is Louisiana, which has a 7 percent unemployment rate with only 1.1 percent job growth over the last year. Unemployed there get the lowest average percentage of their weekly job rate covered, at 24.6 percent. Only 30 percent of the state’s unemployed receive benefits, according to reports.

Coming in third as a bad location to be unemployed would be Illinois, which has the second highest unemployment rate in the country at 9.2 percent, but has seen only .8 percent job growth during the last year. Forty-three percent of those unemployed in the state receive benefits, while 32.1 percent is the average weekly wage covered.

Ranking fourth in worst states to be unemployed is Alabama, which has the 18th lowest unemployment rate at 6.5 percent, but has only seen job growth of 1.22 percent in the last year. The average weekly wage covered is 26.2 percent and 32 percent of those who are unemployed are receiving benefits.

Rounding out the five worst states to be unemployed is Arizona, which has an 8 percent unemployment rate and has seen 2 percent job growth during the last year. The average amount of weekly wages covered by unemployment benefits is 24.9 percent, and 33 percent of those who are unemployed receive benefits.

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About the author

Audrey is a senior editor for the business and finance sections.