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Workers in Alaska, New Jersey, and Wyoming have been hit hardest by layoffs this year

Alaska, New Jersey, and Wyoming lead the country in terms of the percentage of the state’s workforce that have been laid off.

Alaska, New Jersey, and Wyoming lead the country in terms of the percentage of the state’s workforce that have been laid off.

Last year, economists, business leaders, and some politicians pointed to “The Great Resignation” as a reason to worry about the tightness of the labor market. With unemployment hitting a historic low and the demand for labor remaining high, some workers opted to quit their job to find a new one that offered better pay or conditions. The rate of voluntary separations, or quits, has started to fall, and now layoffs (or involuntary separations) are on the rise.

20192020202120222023 (January and February)
Quits 42,125,00035,904,00047,680,00050,596,0007,902,000

Compared to two the first two months of 2022, quits have fallen by 9.2 percent, while layoffs have increased by thirteen percent.

Which states have seen the greatest number of layoffs?

At the state level, workers in Alaska (3.36 percent) and New Jersey (3.11 percent) have seen the highest number of layoffs as a percent of the state’s workforce so far this year. Both of these states have seen their unemployment rate tick up slightly since late 2022, meaning that layoffs could lead to a loosening of the labor market if those who lose their jobs cannot find their next gig quickly.

What other states have seen a high rate of layoffs

  1. Wyoming: 2.77 percent
  2. South Dakota: 2.74 percent
  3. Rhode Island: 2.63 percent
  4. New Hampshire: 2.63 percent
  5. Louisiana: 2.58 percent
  6. North Dakota: 2.41 percent
  7. Delaware: 2.41 percent 

On the opposite side of the spectrum Hawaii (1.35 percent), Washington (1.47 percent), Connecticut (1.48 percent), and Wisconsin (1.65 percent) have seen the fewest layoffs when divided by the state’s total labor force.

However, when looking at the total number of workers who have been laid off in 2023, California (325,000), Texas (259,000), Florida (225,000), and New York (170,000), recorded the largest totals. These also happen to be the four largest states in the country in terms of population, which explains why none made the list when looking at the percentage of the labor force that had been laid off. While these states have seen minor increases in their unemployment rate, these layoffs are not leading to dramatic changes in the number of people without work.


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