Kentucky's Per Capita Unemployment Claims More than 20% Higher Than Next Closest Neighboring Sta
A Pegasus Institute study found that Kentucky has experienced more new unemployment claims per 100,000 residents over the last four weeks than any neighboring state by a wide margin. Data from the past four weeks of unemployment claims for every state in the region show that Kentucky is not just highest per capita, but more than 20% higher than the next closest state, Ohio.
Since the week ending on March 21st, the first week of unemployment data after the economic shutdown related to the coronavirus began, Kentucky has had 395,510 total new unemployment claims. Previous research from the Tax Foundation found that this equates to 14.3% of the total workforce filing for or receiving unemployment, the 8th highest per capita total in the United States. Looking at unemployment figures as compared to total population provides an additional level of understanding but no good news.
Between the week ending on March 21st and the week ending on April 11th, more than 8,789 individuals per 100,000 residents filed new unemployment claims in the Bluegrass State. Ohio, the next highest, had just above 7,269 claims per 100,000 residents. Indiana, which had more claims overall than Kentucky, had considerably fewer when comparing per capita totals with 6,584 claims per 100,000 residents. Tennessee, which Kentucky most often seeks to compare policy data with, had even fewer still with only 4,603 claims per 100,000 residents.
In total, the United States has experienced more than 22 million new unemployment claims over the period, an all time record, with virtually no reasonable comparison in American history.
Kentucky experienced three straight weeks of record new claims between the weeks of March 21st and the week of April 4th. The week ending on April 11th did see -1.54% in total new claims which is considerably less hopeful when compared against the national average of -19.96% between the two weeks. Even with the meager decline, there were still 115,763 Kentuckians reported for new unemployment benefit filings last week.