Historic Unemployment
Spencer Platt / Staff / Getty Images News / Getty Images North America / Getty Images CC

These States Made History With Record Unemployment Amid the Pandemic

View Slideshow
Historic Unemployment
Spencer Platt / Staff / Getty Images News / Getty Images North America / Getty Images CC

Historic Unemployment

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought initial unemployment claims to 38.6 million in just nine weeks, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor — shattering historic highs across the nation. In many states, claims skyrocketed practically overnight, increasing from historic lows in February and March to highs not experienced in decades. Here's a state-by-state look at April unemployment rates compared with previous highs. All but seven states have set new records.

Related: 18 Critical Steps to Take When You've Been Laid Off

Mobile, Alabama
Kruck20/istockphoto

Alabama

April unemployment rate: 12.9%
Historic high: 15.5%, December 1982
Historic low: 2.7%, February 2020

Anchorage, Alaska
Chilkoot/istockphoto

Alaska

April unemployment rate: 12.9% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 11.2%, August 1986
Historic low: 5.2%, March 2020

Phoenix
iStock/Sean Pavone

Arizona

April unemployment rate: 12.6% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 11.5%, December 1982
Historic low: 3.6%, July 2007

Little Rock, North Little Rock, Conway, Arkansas
csfotoimages/istockphoto

Arkansas

April unemployment rate: 10.2%
Historic high: 10.3%, February 1983
Historic low: 3.5%, February 2020

California
Nirian/istockphoto

California

April unemployment rate: 15.5% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 12.3%, November 2010
Historic low: 3.9%, February 2020

Denver
AlbertPego/istockphoto

Colorado

April unemployment rate: 11.3% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 8.9%, December 2010
Historic low: 2.5%, February 2020

Connecticut
pabradyphoto/istockphoto

Connecticut

April unemployment rate: 7.9%
Historic high: 9.8%, March 1976
Historic low: 2.2%, October 2000

Wilmington, Delaware
ChrisBoswell/istockphoto

Delaware

April unemployment rate: 14.3% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 9.8%, December 1976
Historic low: 3%, June 1988

Washington, D.C.
ESB Professional/shutterstock

District of Columbia

April unemployment rate: 11.1%
Historic high: 11.3%, September 1983
Historic low: 4.8%, September 1989

Orlando
dszc/istockphoto

Florida

April unemployment rate: 12.9% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 11.3%, January 2010
Historic low: 2.8%, February 2020

Atlanta
Marilyn Nieves/istockphoto

Georgia

April unemployment rate: 11.9% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 10.6%, December 2010
Historic low: 3.1%, February 2020

Honolulu, Hawaii
rebelml/istockphoto

Hawaii

April unemployment rate: 22.3% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 10.2%, March 1976
Historic low: 2.2%, November 2017

Boise, ID
Charles Knowles/shutterstock

Idaho

April unemployment rate: 11.5% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 10.2%, December 1982
Historic low: 2.5%, March 2020

Chicago
JaySi/istockphoto

Illinois

April unemployment rate: 16.4% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 13.1%, February 1983
Historic low: 3.4%, February 2020

Indianapolis
f11photo/istockphoto

Indiana

April unemployment rate: 16.9% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 12.6%, December 1982
Historic low: 2.9%, October 2000

Des Moines, Iowa
Davel5957/istockphoto

Iowa

April unemployment rate: 10.2% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 9.1%, January 1983
Historic low: 2.4%, March 2000

University of Kansas: Lawrence, KS
BergmannD/istockphoto

Kansas

April unemployment rate: 11.2% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 7.3%, August 2009
Historic low: 2.8%, March 2020

Kentucky
Kirkikis/istockphoto

Kentucky

April unemployment rate: 15.4% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 12%, March 1983
Historic low: 4.1%, August 2000

New Orleans
peeterv/istockphoto

Louisiana

April unemployment rate: 14.5% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 13.1%, November 1986
Historic low: 4.1%, October 2007

Maine
DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto

Maine

April unemployment rate: 10.6% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 9%, January 1977
Historic low: 2.9%, September 2019

Baltimore, Maryland
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

Maryland

April unemployment rate: 9.9% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 8.5%, March 1982
Historic low: 3.3%, March 2020

Boston Common, Boston
Jorge Salcedo/shutterstock

Massachusetts

April unemployment rate: 15.1% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 10.3%, March 1976
Historic low: 2.6%, October 2000

detroit, Michigan
f11photo/istockphoto

Michigan

April unemployment rate: 22.7% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 16.5%, December 1982
Historic low: 3.2%, March 2000

Minneapolis
Davel5957/istockphoto

Minnesota

April unemployment rate: 8.1%
Historic high: 8.9%, January 1983
Historic low: 2.5%, February 1999

Oxford, Mississippi II - The University of Mississippi Campus
Oxford, Mississippi II - The University of Mississippi Campus by JR P (CC BY-NC)

Mississippi

April unemployment rate: 15.4% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 12.8%, April 1983
Historic low: 4.7%, August 2018

St. Louis
amolson7/shutterstock

Missouri

April unemployment rate: 9.7%
Historic high: 10.6%, March 1983
Historic low: 3%, October 2018

Billings, Montana
peeterv/istockphoto

Montana

April unemployment rate: 11.3% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 8.8%, May 1983
Historic low: 2.9%, February 2007

Lincoln, Nebraska
ChrisBoswell/istockphoto

Nebraska

April unemployment rate: 8.3% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 6.3%, February 1983
Historic low: 2.3 %, October 1990

Las Vegas
Paul Brady Photo/shutterstock

Nevada

April unemployment levels: 28.2% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 13.7%, November 2010
Historic low: 3.6%, February 2020

New Hampshire
DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto

New Hampshire

April unemployment levels: 16.3% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 7.4%, July 1992
Historic low: 2.2%, March 1988

Ocean City, New Jersey
Aneese/istockphoto

New Jersey

April unemployment levels: 15.3% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 10.7%, January 1977
Historic low: 3.3%, July 2019

Santa Fe, New Mexico
DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto

New Mexico

April unemployment level: 11.3% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 10.5%, March 1983
Historic low: 3.7%, September 2007

New York, New York
FilippoBacci/istockphoto

New York

April unemployment rate: 14.5% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 10.3%, February 1976
Historic low: 3.7%, February 2020

Asheville, North Carolina
Sean Pavone/istockphoto

North Carolina

April unemployment rate: 12.2% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 11.4%, March 2010
Historic low: 3%, April 1999

North Dakota
DenisTangneyJr/istockphoto

North Dakota

April unemployment rate: 8.5% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 6.2%, February 1983
Historic low: 2.0%, March 2020

Columbus, Ohio
aceshot1/shutterstock

Ohio

April unemployment rate: 16.8% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 14%, January 1983
Historic low: 3.7%, February 2001

Tulsa, Oklahoma
Davel5957/istockphoto

Oklahoma

April unemployment rate: 13.7% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 8.9%, April 1983
Historic low: 2.9%, March 2020

Portland, Oregon
4nadia/istockphoto

Oregon

April unemployment rate: 14.2% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 11.9%, May 2009
Historic low: 3.3%, February 2020

Philadelphia
Pgiam/istockphoto

Pennsylvania

April unemployment rate: 15.1% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 12.7%, February 1983
Historic low: 4%, May 2000

Providence, RI
Sean Pavone/shutterstock

Rhode Island

April unemployment rate: 17% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 11.3%, August 2010
Historic low: 3%, July 1988

Charleston, SC
SeanPavonePhoto/istockphoto

South Carolina

April unemployment rate: 12.1% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 11.8%, January 1983
Historic low: 2.4%, January 2020

South Dakota
Jacob Boomsma/istockphoto

South Dakota

April unemployment rate: 10.2% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 5.9%, January 1983
Historic low: 2.4%, July 2000

Nashville
ANPerryman/istockphoto

Tennessee

April unemployment rate: 14.7% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 12.9%, January 1983
Historic low: 3.3%, March 2020

Austin, Texas
RoschetzkyIstockPhoto/istockphoto

Texas

April unemployment rate: 12.8% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 9.2%, November 1986
Historic low: 3.4%, June 2019

Salt Lake City
4kodiak/istockphoto

Utah

April unemployment rate: 9.7% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 9.6%, March 1983
Historic low: 2.4%, December 2019

Burlington, Vermont
Erika J Mitchell/shutterstock

Vermont

April unemployment rate: 15.6% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 8.7%, April 1976
Historic low: 2.3%, May 2019

Richmond Virginia
DepositPhotos.com

Virginia

April unemployment rate: 10.6% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 7.9%, December 1982
Historic low: 2.1%, November 2000

Seattle
aiisha5/istockphoto

Washington

April unemployment rate: 15.4% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 12.2%, November 1982
Historic low: 3.8%, February 2020

Downtown Huntington, West Virginia
Downtown Huntington, West Virginia by formulanone (CC BY-NC-SA)

West Virginia

April unemployment rate: 15.2%
Historic high: 18.8%, February 1983
Historic low: 4%, July 2008

Milwaukee
Davel5957/istockphoto

Wisconsin

April unemployment rate: 14.1% *new historic high
Prior historic high: 11.9%, January 1983
Historic low: 3%, December 2018

Cheyenne, Wyoming
Davel5957/istockphoto

Wyoming

April unemployment rate: 9.2%
Historic high: 9.4%, December 1986
Historic low: 2.5%, May 1979