Photograph by Scott Lewis/Bloomberg
No. 5 Illinois
Unemployment Rate: 9.51%
Benefit as a percentage of income: 36.44%
Wealth Disparity Ratio: 0.631
Cheats, beware. Illinois just announced it has recovered nearly $38 million from people who wrongly collected unemployment insurance. A year earlier, the state recovered $44 million. That’s good news, since Illinois has an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent, second only to Nevada's. The employed population here fell 0.38 percent for the year ended March. The picture may get bleaker. Grants for federal funds for unemployment insurance will fall by about $9 million in 2013, estimates Pew Charitable Trusts. Unemployment insurance covers 36.4 percent of lost income.