Advisor Advocate Logo: A Financial Services Blog from Nationwide
About the blog

Capital Market Impact Weekly market commentary

illustration of a telescope in front of green background

Job losses spread unevenly during the pandemic

APR. 29, 2020

unemployment rate by state chart

Weekly unemployment claims continue to defy historical precedent, with 4.4 million new filers in the most recent week. The weekly average over the past five weeks has been 5.3 million, more than seven times the previous record from 1982.

The shutdown of the economy has impacted all industries, although personal care, leisure and entertainment, food and drink and charities have been particularly hard hit. Hours worked in these sectors are down more than 60% since January.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the U.S. unemployment rate sat at its lowest level since the 1950s. Now, the April rate is expected to jump to the highest level since the Great Depression. There’s a wide variance in expected unemployment by state, given the overexposure to certain industries in specific regions. Notably,  Hawaii’s reliance on tourism is expected to drive the unemployment rate from 2.6% in March to more than 25% in April. South Dakota, by comparison, is only expected to jump from 3.3% to 6.0%, due to the primarily agricultural and health-related job base.

While the gradual reopening of the economy will bring some people back to work, the continued social distancing measures and consumer unease will likely remain a headwind for many industries for some time to come.

Review relevant client material from Nationwide


  • This material is not a recommendation to buy, sell, hold or roll over any asset, adopt an investment strategy, retain a specific investment manager or use a particular account type. It does not take into account the specific investment objectives, tax and financial condition or particular needs of any specific person. Investors should discuss their specific situation with their financial professional.

    Except where otherwise indicated, the views and opinions expressed are those of Nationwide as of the date noted, are subject to change at any time and may not come to pass.

    Past performance does not guarantee future results. Current performance may be lower or higher than the past performance shown.

    Nationwide Funds are distributed by Nationwide Fund Distributors LLC (NFD), member FINRA, Columbus, Ohio.

    Nationwide Investment Services Corporation (NISC), member FINRA, Columbus, Ohio.

    Nationwide, the Nationwide N and Eagle and Nationwide is on your side are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company.

    © 2020 Nationwide