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Most states' unemployment rates dropped in October -- but the Covid-19 spike could reverse that

November 20, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

State-by-state unemployment rates fell in 37 states last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday. But the resurgence of Covid-19 infections could reverse the recent improvements.

New York (CNN Business)State-by-state unemployment rates fell in 37 states last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday.

But the resurgence of Covid-19 infections could reverse the recent improvements.

In October, labor market data was looking up: Illinois, for example, saw its jobless rate fall the most out of all states and the District of Columbia.

That's a great development, but whether Illinois and other states can continue that trajectory is an open question.

Illinois's positivity rate for Covid-19 is currently at record highs and hospitalizations have surpassed the level reached in the spring, the state's government said when introducing its Tier 3 mitigation strategy.

Economists are cautious not to read too much into monthly swings in economic data.

But given the rising number of infections and the state of the overall economy, they see a clear risk for the coming months.

"As winter approaches I do anticipate an increase in unemployment across the food and beverage complex, leisure and hospitality industries, and transportation," said Joe Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM, who expects jobless rates to increase in select states because of the pandemic.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate fell to 6. 9% in October.

Even so, the country is still far from its pre-pandemic state and remains down some 10 million jobs from February.

Hawaii and Nevada, both of which rely heavily on tourism and hospitality, continue to have the highest unemployment rates in the country, at 14. 3% and 12% respectively.

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