New unemployment claims for week of June 8 is 78% below COVID-19 peak


As businesses reopen, many who were temporarily laid off are now being rehired, according to a new report from WalletHub.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

As a follow up to their May jobs report, WalletHub takes a look at the state of unemployment, as offices begin to open and bring employees back to the office for the new normal or a hybrid–work-from-home and office combined.

Compared to numbers from the height of the pandemic, new unemployment claims for the week of June 6 were 78% lower, according to WalletHub, which released updated rankings in its States Whose Unemployment Claims are Recovering the Quickest report.

“Right now, it seems that the process of reopening states has had a positive effect on unemployment, as employers are rehiring workers who were temporarily laid off,” said WalletHub analyst, Jill Gonzalez.

SEE: Coronavirus: Critical IT policies and tools every business needs (TechRepublic Premium)

“It’s important to continue on this path. To do that, and avoid another lockdown at the same time, both the authorities as well as business owners should take steps to ensure the safety of customers and employees. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and wearing a mask when coming in contact with other people are just some of the measures that can be taken to keep COVID-19 numbers from rising.”

WalletHub looked at each state and noted which are “most recovered” and which are “least recovered”. For the week of June 6, it found:

Most Recovered 

  1. Connecticut
  2. Vermont

  3. Rhode Island

  4. New Jersey

  5. Pennsylvania

  6. Michigan

  7. Delaware

  8. Massachusetts

  9. Wyoming

  10. Montana

Least Recovered 

42. Tennessee

43.  Alaska

44.  North Carolina

45.  Virginia

46.  Louisiana

47.  Mississippi

48.  Indiana

49.  Florida

50.  Georgia

51. Oklahoma

In May, the US actually gained 2.5 million non-farm payroll jobs, but there are still 21 million people who are unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

For the week of June 6, there were 1.5 million new unemployment claims nationwide, considerably lower than the 6.9 million new unemployment claims filed at the peak of the pandemic, a 78% reduction. 

In addition to ranking most and least recovered states, WalletHub charted:

  • Changes in unemployment claims, comparing the week of June 15 to June 17, 2019;

  • Changes in unemployment claims, comparing the week of June 15 to January 1, 2020; and

  • Changes in unemployment claims, comparing the weeks of March 16, 2020 to June 15, 2020, compared to the weeks of March 18, 2019 to June 17, 2019. 

The report noted that: 

  • The coronavirus wiped out all job gains, since the Great Recession (total job losses then, 8.8 million)

  • Blue states unemployment claims (78%) are recovering the quickest; red states were at 71.2% 

The larger the number, the lower the unemployment claims in that state. Red and blue states were determined by how the state voted in the 2016 election. The report also offered analysis by 50 different experts.

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Honeywell claims to surpass IBM with the world’s fastest quantum computer


The new device boasts a quantum volume of 64, double that of the industry alternative, the company says.

Inside Honeywell quantum computer chamber.

Image: Honeywell

Honeywell declared on Thursday that it has the world’s highest-performing quantum computer. Touting a quantum volume of 64—the metric used to convey the effectiveness of a quantum computer—the device is twice as powerful as IBM’s supercomputer, which was the former industry leader. 

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The industrial giant pledged in March to have the most powerful quantum computer by the middle of 2020, fulfilling that promise only three months later. 

The company also said in March that it would improve the performance of its quantum computers by a factor of 10 every year for the next five years, which means the computer could be 100,000 faster in 2025

“What makes our quantum computers so powerful is having the highest quality qubits, with the lowest error rates,” said Tony Uttley, president of Honeywell Quantum Solutions, in a press release. “This is a combination of using identical, fully connected qubits and precision control.” 

Honeywell was once known as one of the top producers of massive mainframes, but it sold that business and instead gathered more than 100 scientists, engineers, and software developers to develop quantum computers.

What a quantum computer looks like 

The systems begin with an ultra-high vacuum chamber, a stainless steel sphere with portals that let in laser light, and from which air has been pumped out so that it holds a vacuum of five times less particles than outer space, according to the release.

That chamber is then cooled with liquid helium, bringing the temperature of the ion trap chip to 10 degrees above absolute zero. Within the space, electric fields levitate individual atoms 0.1 mm above an ion trap, which is a silicon chip coated in gold. Scientists then shine lasers at the positively charged atoms to execute quantum operations. 

As for the equipment to control a quantum computer, control systems are put in place to precisely manipulate hundreds of electrical signals necessary to move the ions (qubits) in the specific manner used for quantum information algorithms, per the release. 

What quantum computers can solve 

Quantum computers are powerful because they are able to investigate a bevy of potential outcomes at the same time, according to the release. 

“Quantum computing relies on the superimposed state of particles (a qubit). This allows the superimposed particle to have a value of 1 and 0 simultaneously, opposed to traditional computing where a bit may only have 1 value of 0 or 1,” said Fausto Oliveira, principal security architect at Acceptto, a Portland, Oregon-based provider of Continuous Behavioral Authentication. 

“Multiple superimposed particles then generate a matrix of states that can be used to solve computational complex problems such as equations delaying with large numbers of primes, that is the main advantage,” Oliveira said.  

This means that extremely complex computations that are unable to be done on the highest performing supercomputers will one day be possible on a quantum computer. 

Honeywell has partnered with JPMorgan Chase, Cambridge Quantum Computing, and Zapata  Computing to further the quantum computing journey. 

In the future, the company said it is also partnering with Microsoft as part of the Azure Quantum offering, which means end users will be able to use Azure classical computing resources while also accessing Honeywell’s quantum computer, per the release.  

While Honeywell is clearly making strides in the quantum computing world, the road to full-fledged use of these devices is far off, according to Oliveira. 

“We are still at the inception stages of this industry,” Oliveira said. “It will take a few more years before it becomes mainstream. We should wait and see the evolution of quantum computing over the next couple of years and wait for more maturity in the market before it becomes a concern.” 

For more, check out Quantum computing analytics: Put this on your IT roadmap on TechRepublic.

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