And this can reverse the positive trends in unemployment. In October, labor market data was sought: in Illinois, for example, the unemployment rate fell the most of all states and the District of Columbia. In September, it fell 3.6 percentage points to 6.8% from 10.4% on a seasonally adjusted basis.
This is a great development, but whether Illinois and other states can continue this trajectory is open question.
Economists are careful not to read too much in the monthly fluctuations in economic data. But given the growing number of infections and the state of the economy as a whole, they see a clear risk for the coming months.
“As winter approaches, I expect unemployment to rise in the food, leisure and hospitality industries, as well as in transport,”
The health situation is deteriorating rapidly, forcing more and more small businesses to close, Gregory Daco, chief economist at Oxford Economics, told CNN Business in an email.
“As the fear of viruses revives and local authorities gradually introduce measures to curb the virus, mobility, activity and employment will weaken,” he added.
Hawaii and Nevada, both of which rely heavily on tourism and hospitality, continue to have the highest unemployment rates in the country – 14.3% and 12%, respectively.