Unemployment Rate by State – February 2020
Are you interested in the unemployment rate in your state? Are you trying to see which states have the highest and lowest unemployment rates for February 2020? You’ve come to the right place. Each month, we publish the unemployment rate by state, using data released by the federal government. We have provided below the complete list of unemployment rate by state February 2020.
In addition, we have further broken down the list, showing the top 10 states with the highest and lowest unemployment rates for the month of February.
Finally, we have answered below the most frequently asked questions about unemployment, including unemployment benefits related to COVID-19, states that pay the most in unemployment, who is eligible for unemployment, and more.
This post will cover:
- Unemployment Rate by State February 2020
- Top 10 States with the Highest Unemployment in February 2020
- The Top 10 States With the Lowest Unemployment in February 2020
- Unemployment FAQs
Unemployment Rate by State February 2020
According to the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Just like in January 2020, Alaska had the highest unemployment rate in February 2020, with 5.8 percent.
This was followed by Mississippi, 5.4 percent, and Louisiana, 5.2 percent.
Again, just like in January 2020, North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate in February 2020 of 2.2 percent.
Nationally, the United States Unemployment Rate fell to 3.5%, from 3.6% in January.
Below is the complete list by state, seasonally adjusted. We have also provided the unemployment rate for February 2019 for comparison.
|State||February 2020 Unemployment Rate (%)||February 2019 Unemployment Rate (%)|
|District of Columbia||5.2||5.8|
These 10 States Have The Highest Unemployment in February
Here are the top ten states with the highest jobless rates, according to newly released federal data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
|State||February 2020 Rate|
|District of Columbia||5.20%|
These 10 States Have The Lowest Unemployment in February
Here are the top ten states with the lowest jobless rates, according to newly released federal data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
|State||February 2020 Rate|
These are the most frequently asked questions about unemployment benefits, including those related to COVID-19 unemployment benefits.
What is Unemployment Insurance (Unemployment Benefits)?
Unemployment insurance (also known as UI) provides temporary cash benefits to employees who have lost their jobs.
If you have worked in your state within the last 18 months and lost your job, through no fault of your own, you may be eligible for UI.
What are the basic eligibility requirements to apply for unemployment?
Eligibility requirements may vary by state, but generally, to be eligible for unemployment, you must meet the following requirements.
1. Be fully or partially unemployed;
2. Be unemployed through no fault of your own [the law imposes disqualifications for certain types of separations from employment];
3. Be physically and mentally able to work full time*;
4. Be available for full-time work*;
5. Be registered with the American Job Center (this may vary by state);
6. Be actively seeking work by making reasonable efforts to find employment each week;
7. Participate in selected reemployment services if you are identified as a dislocated worker by the profiling system;
8. File your weekly claims as directed.
*Individuals who cannot work because of a physical or mental impairment that is chronic or expected to be long-term or permanent may qualify for benefits if they are available for suitable part-time work.
What are the requirements for filing a valid claim?
Here are the requirements for a valid unemployment insurance claim:
- You must have worked in employment subject to UI tax (known as covered employment) and received wages in at least two (2) quarters of your base period.
- You must also have been paid wages totaling at least six (6) times the average weekly insured wage during your base period.
The exact amount of benefits and the duration of those benefits cannot be determined until you actually file your claim for benefits.
How long do Unemployment Insurance benefits last?
In most states, the limit is 26 weeks per year.
However, the federal government recently created a new program called Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) that provides more benefits.
The PEUC program allows claimants who exhaust their regular UI benefits to receive up to 13 additional weeks of benefits.
How much in Unemployment benefits will I receive?
How much you will receive in unemployment benefits is based on your “Base Period”.
What is the base period?
Your base period is the time frame used to determine whether you are monetarily eligible to receive unemployment payments.
This varies by state but generally, it includes the first four of the last five completed calendar quarters.
Individuals who cannot establish monetary eligibility using wages in the previously described base period will use an alternate base period.
The alternate base period consists of the four calendar quarters immediately preceding the quarter in which the claim is filed.
To determine if a person has sufficient wage credits, the law requires that he or she must have total base period earnings that equal or exceeds 40 times the Weekly Benefit Rate.
What is the maximum weekly Unemployment amount by state?
The maximum Weekly unemployment benefits vary by state.
They range from $1,234 in Massachusetts (highest) to $235 in Mississippi (lowest).
For a full list of minimum and maximum weekly unemployment benefits by state, see our post here.
Additionally, you may be eligible for federal Coronavirus Aid, which may provide a temporary emergency increase in unemployment benefits
How long will it take to receive my benefits?
If you apply for Unemployment Benefits and are approved, you will receive benefits in two to four weeks for your initial claim.
Benefit payments are issued via Direct Deposit or a debit card provided by your state’s unemployment agency.
Can I quit my job and collect Unemployment Insurance Benefits?
The general rule is that a person who voluntarily leaves suitable work without good cause, attributable to the employer, is not eligible for unemployment benefits.
However, there are a few non-job-related reasons for quitting under which a person may be approved for benefits.
These include quitting to care for a spouse, child, or parent with an illness or disability, and quitting to escape domestic violence.
For good cause to be attributable to the employer, it must relate to the wages, hours, or working conditions of the job.
Are unemployment benefits taxed?
Yes, you have to report any unemployment compensation you receive on your federal tax return and potentially your state return as well.
The money will ultimately be included in your gross income and taxed at your ordinary-income rate.
That’s because the federal government taxes unemployment benefits as ordinary income (like wages).
However, you don’t have to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on this income.
Most states tax unemployment benefits, too, although there are a few exceptions.
A few states that have a state income tax do not tax unemployment benefits, such as California, Montana, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
If you request it, your state’s unemployment agency will withhold federal and state (where applicable) taxes from your benefits.
Unemployment Rate by State February 2020 Summary
We hope this post on Unemployment Rate by State February 2020 was helpful.
If you have further questions about unemployment or unemployment insurance benefits, please let us know in the comments section below.
Be sure to check out our other articles on Unemployment and Unemployment Benefits, including the current Unemployment Rate for all 50 states and the states that are extending unemployment insurance benefits.