A visualization of unemployment insurance claims by state, adjusted for population, shows Kansas as having a high number of claims, but trending lower.
The number of people filing for unemployment insurance each week is a useful indicator of the condition of the economy. I present this data for each state and the nation in an interactive visualization. Because states vary widely in their population (the most populous state has 68 times the population of the least populous), I’ve cast the data as claims per thousand residents of each state.
In the nearby chart drawn from the visualization, we see initial claims for Kansas are much higher than neighboring states. The trend in Kansas had been rising when nearby states were steady or rising slightly. For the past three weeks, however, the trend is a lower number of initial claims each week. The trend for continued claims is similar.
If we look at Kansas compared to all states, we see something similar: Claims in Kansas are higher than almost all states, even though Kansas claims are trending lower.
(When an unemployed worker files a claim for the first time, that is counted as an initial claim. Claims by workers after the initial claim are counted as continued claims.)
To learn more about this data and to access the visualization, click here.
How valid is this data, though – in relation to the high number of fraudulent claims currently being attempted at the state level weekly? I got calls from two previous employers that said fraud unemployment claims were submitted in my name (I went through the corrective steps the State recommends) but I know of many others just within my local circle of friends who had the same things happen. Doesn’t that skew these number because you don’t know how many of these claims charted ended up being fraud? I’ll bet the true number is much lower yet.