Jobless claims are higher in key energy-producing states compared with a year ago, according to MarketWatch's Jeffry Bartash. In six key states in the nation, unemployed workers are collecting jobless benefits, and the trend is common among those who lost energy-related jobs in the oil and coal industries.
West Virginia lost about 5,000 jobs each in mining and construction over the past year and saw an unemployment rate of 6.9% in October, the highest in the country. The number of people collecting benefits doubled from the end of 2014 to the start of 2015. In North Dakota, the unemployment rate is low at 2.8%, but the number of people getting unemployment benefits is twice as high now as it was in November 2014: 2,592 vs. 1,320.