How Generous Are Unemployment Benefits in Your State?

unemployed. out of work. young Asian man white shirt tie box
aslysun / Shutterstock.com

Losing your job is stressful on many levels, and the state you live in can influence that stress.

Unemployment payments vary greatly from state to state. The most generous state pays out over four times the maximum weekly benefits of the state with the smallest weekly benefit.

The average weekly benefit paid across the entire U.S. in September was $305.15, the U.S. Department of Labor says. But within that average was a wide range, from a low of $113.68 to a high of $479.06.

Here are the Labor Department’s rankings for the month of September, by state, beginning with the least generous state and ending with the state offering the highest maximum weekly unemployment benefit.

50. South Carolina

Terrie L. Zeller / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $113.68

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 24,910

49. Louisiana

Streetcar in New Orleans
TFoxFoto / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $183.45

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 61,824

48. Mississippi

Oxford, Mississippi
James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $186.93

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 18,631

47. Tennessee

Country musicians perform in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
eakkarat rangram / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $211.60

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 44,192

46. North Carolina

nature
Jill Lang / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $217.64

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 53,164

45. Indiana

Indianapolis
Semmick Photo / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $221.93

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 68,211

44. Florida

Florida Keys
GagliardiImages / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $222.91

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 160,873

43. West Virginia

New River Gorge Bridge
Kenneth Keifer / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $236.06

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 8,488

42. Arizona

Sedona, Arizona
DBSOCAL / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $239.04

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 91,377

41. Missouri

Lane V. Erickson / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $240.08

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 36,578

40. Arkansas

Man fishing in Arkansas lake
Bonita R. Cheshier / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $240.65

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 23,851

39. Delaware

Wilmington, Delaware
Paul Brady Photography / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $240.89

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 13,991

38. Georgia

Savannah Georgia riverboat.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $255.24

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 201,790

37. Alabama

Skyline of Birmingham at Railroad Park in Birmingham, Ala.
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $257.61

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 37,796

36. New Hampshire

Kenneth Keifer / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $272.34

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 8,921

35. Virginia

Richmond, Virginia
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $278.28

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 45,040

34. Kentucky

Irina Mos / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $281.36

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 34,347

33. California

Carlsbad, California
Kyle Sprague / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $282.47

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 902,627

32. Wisconsin

Wisconsin
By-Rachel-Niskanen / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $288.06

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 50,918

31. Alaska

Alaska springtime landscape
Mike Redwine / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $291.86

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 15,048

30. Maine

Portland Maine lighthouse
E.J.Johnson Photography / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $296.10

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 6,040

29. Connecticut

Connecticut marina.
STUDIO M / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $297.06

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 22,627

28. Maryland

James Kirkikis / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $304.52

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 51,244

27. Nebraska

Nebraska farm.
McElroy Art / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $307.73

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 11,096

26. South Dakota

Peek Creative Collective / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $310.59

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 1,386

25. New Mexico

Tim Pleasant / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $314.74

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 13,265

24. Illinois

Sorbis / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $315.54

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 121,523

23. Idaho

CSNafzger / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $319.28

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 12,890

22. Rhode Island

Providence, Rhode Island
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $320.27

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 12,834

21. Ohio

Ohio fair
Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $324.21

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 65,933

20. Oklahoma

4kclips / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $327.19

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 22,289

19. New York

kreidzeleu / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $333.37

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 366,366

18. Pennsylvania

Liberty Bell
Songquan Deng / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $335.91

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 96,093

17. Vermont

Vermont couple walking in park in Autumn
Sergii Kovalov / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $340.34

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 2,993

16. Kansas

Wichita, Kansas
Gary L. Brewer / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $355.53

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 65,763

15. Nevada

Las vegas in daylight
nito / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $358.52

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 34,370

14. Iowa

Iowa farm
By Dan Thornberg / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $364.34

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 22,890

13. Oregon

Portland, Oregon waterfront
By Josemaria Toscano / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $367.43

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 24,511

12. Texas

ssuaphotos / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $372.38

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 211,049

11. Montana

Montana
SNEHIT / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $372.92

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 9,141

10. Minnesota

Minnesota water
Dan Thornberg / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $377.52

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 46,069

9. Colorado

Skiing in Colorado
Samot / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $382.60

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 22,520

8. Michigan

Detroit, Michigan
Susanne Pommer / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $385.83

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 76,226

7. New Jersey

People pack the beach in Atlantic City, New Jersey
Chris Parypa Photography / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $398.60

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 106,279

6. Utah

mariakraynova / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $401.12

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 11,342

5. Massachusetts

Lighthouse in Massachusetts
Newcastle / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $406.04

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 84,802

4. Washington

MCarter / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $415.56

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 80,966

3. Wyoming

Snowmobilers pass a bison in Wyoming
Carolina K. Smith MD / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $433.65

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 2,859

2. Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii
Filip Carmen / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $444.50

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 28,013

1. North Dakota

North Dakota woman in sunflower field
Thomas Hansson / Shutterstock.com

Average weekly unemployment insurance benefit: $479.06

Initial unemployment insurance claims filed: 3,536

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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