Industry Insights

January Unemployment Update

By: Caroline Forrest
Feb 11, 2021 • 3 min read

JobGet’s January Unemployment Update

While last month’s unemployment rates had not dropped since the previous month, we have better news to share for January. From December to January, the unemployment rate remained the same, at 6.7%. However, from January to February, we have seen another drop down to 6.3%. Although this decrease is slight, when we think about our peak unemployment in April of 2020, which was 14.7%, we have made a significant amount of progress! The January unemployment update contains a wealth of information; let’s take a look!

The JobGet Team has compiled a report of unemployment data and trends, which you can review and download below:

JobGet Unemployment Report Jan 2021 – v3.0.1


Unemployment rates had dropped from 14.7% at their peak level in April of 2020 when COVID decimated so many of our US industries. Since then, we have steadily progressed back to pre-COVID levels of unemployment, which consistently hovered around 3.5%. While unemployment rates dropped significantly after April, our progress has slowed since November. In January, we saw another decrease in unemployment, down to 6.3%.


Some interesting trends in the data this month include a jump in unemployment among the Asian population (up 6.6% from 5.9%), which was the only increase in specific demographics. Among the Black (9.2%) and Hispanic population (8.6%), the unemployment has dropped slightly. The rates are still significantly higher than that of the White population (5.7%).


Among specific industries, we have seen a slight increase in unemployment compared to previous months. While the focus was to increase employment in many of these industries over the past year during COVID, construction, manufacturing, transportation, retail, health care, and hospitality all saw a very slight increase in unemployment rates.

Minimum Wage

The minimum wage debate plays an important role in unemployment, especially for some small businesses. As of January 2021, the minimum wage hovers around $11 per hour in many states, in some, up to $15 per hour. However, in some states, the minimum wage has not changed in years and remains $7.25. This has been the federally regulated rate since 2009. President Biden has plans to continue the minimum wage conversation, and this debate will continue to impact unemployment rates moving forward.

As the JobGet Team states, “The roar that we had hoped for did not happen in January, but by many accounts, the momentum with additional stimulus relief being finalized and an increased number of vaccinations being administered is still very strong.” In other words, we have our fingers crossed and data ready to be analyzed for more good news ahead!


More to Read:

December Unemployment Update

November Unemployment Update

Unemployment and COVID-19


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