Coronavirus Unemployment: Georgia's Initial Claims Are Up 4,853% Compared to 2019

Bianca Sanchez

Since the coronavirus pandemic pushed states to impose social distancing precautions in March, millions of people have been hit with unexpected unemployment. Whether laid off or furloughed, people have filed for unemployment at record-breaking rates.

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To better understand the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on employment across the U.S., WalletHub compared the number of unemployment insurance initial claims in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C., between the weeks of March 16 and May 11 in 2020 to the weeks of March 18 and May 13 in 2019. 

Even the least-affected state saw unemployment increase more than 1,140% compared to 2019. Unemployment insurance initial claims in Georgia, the most-affected state, increased four times that amount. 

Initial claims in Georgia were up 4,852.55% during the weeks of March 16 through May 11 compared to the same weeks in 2019. When compared to January 2020, unemployment claims in the state from March to May increased 934.87%. 

Georgia closed schools on March 18 and restricted mass gatherings on March 24. A statewide stay-at-home order was implemented on April 3 and expired May 1. On April 24, Georgia allowed gyms, fitness centers, bowling alleys, body art studios, barbers, cosmetologists, hair designers, nail care artists, estheticians and massage therapists to reopen. Georgia is also one of more than 20 states that have reopened restaurants for dine-in, and it received an overall grade of F according to recent Unacast study on how successful each state has been in social distancing.

Wondering where your state stands? Here’s how all 50 states and Washington, D.C. ranked in terms of unemployment claims due to coronavirus.