Features, Finance, Health and Safety, Labor News Briefs, Law and Politics, National

New Unemployment-Benefits Claims Jump by 70,000

March 19, 2020

By Steve Wishnia and Neal Tepel

WASHINGTON—New claims for unemployment benefits jumped to 281,000 last week—up 70,000 from the previous week—due to layoffs and closings from the coronavirus pandemic, the Labor Department announced Mar. 19. It was the largest number of new claims since the 299,000 after Hurricane Harvey in September 2017, and the largest percentage increase since 1992, according to the Economic Policy Institute. “Many states reported increased layoffs in service-related industries broadly and in the accommodation and food services industries specifically, as well as in the transportation and warehousing industry,” the department said. “Today’s hurricane-sized increase is nothing compared to what we can expect in the coming weeks,” EPI senior economist Heidi Shierholz said in a statement. “The full weight of this economic shock is still ramping up as businesses realize what they are up against.” Job losses and new claims are accelerating: In Ohio, 78,000 people filed for unemployment Mar. 16-18, up from 6,500 the previous week, while the head of Colorado’s labor department told NPR that almost 7,000 people tried to file claims Mar. 17, up from about 400 Mar. 9. Several states’ unemployment-benefits Websites were so overloaded that they crashed, including New York’s, Oregon’s, and New Jersey’s. Read more

March 19, 2020

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.