NASWA Releases 2021 State of the Workforce Report

Media Contact

Michelle Marshel, Director, Meetings & Communications
Phone: (202) 999-0168 | Email:

WASHINGTON - The National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA) released its bi-annual State of the Workforce Report Wednesday at the 2021 Winter Policy Forum.

This year's report, subtitled "Responding to the Pandemic," focuses on how the workforce agencies in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands assisted American workers through one of the worst economic downturns our country has experienced. 

Between March and December 2020, workforce agencies processed over 1 billion unemployment claims and paid out over half-a-trillion dollars in unemployment benefits, including all state and federal benefit programs.

"Last year, there were states that processed the equivalent of 10 years of unemployment applications within 10 months," said Scott B. Sanders, NASWA President and CEO. "In the face of this tsunami of unemployment claims, state workforce agency staff are the unsung heroes of this crisis working diligently through the pandemic and striving to assist every unemployed worker."

Each state and territory profile in the report includes information on the number of unemployment benefits processed and paid out in 2020 along with innovative strategies states implemented to combat the economic crisis and assist struggling Americans and businesses.

The full report and individual state profiles can be accessed at  2021 State of the Workforce Report: Responding to the Pandemic.



About the National Association of State Workforce Agencies ( NASWA is the national organization representing all 50 state workforce agencies, District of Columbia, and U.S. territories. These agencies deliver training, employment, career, business, and wage and hour services, in addition to administering unemployment insurance, veteran reemployment, and labor market information programs. NASWA provides policy expertise, shares promising state practices, and promotes state innovation and leadership in workforce development.