3M more Americans file new unemployment claims, Labor Dept. says

3M more Americans file new unemployment claims, Labor Dept. says”

Almost 3 million Americans filed new unemployment claims last week, the Labor Department said Thursday, lifting the total over the past eight weeks to 36.5 million. It was the fourth straight week that regular unemployment claims have declined in Colorado.

Iowa Workforce Development reported a total of 16,735 initial unemployment claims filed between May 3 and May 9.

Unemployment claims also skyrocketed by 1,535 percent on Long Island, 1,312 percent in Albany- capital district, 1,293 percent in Syracuse region, 1,154 percent in Rochester-Finger Lakes region, 1,442 percent in the Hudson Valley, 1,241 percent in Binghamton-Southern Tier, 1,245 percent in Buffalo region and 876 percent in the North County.

The state was among the last in the nation to implement a stay-at-home order and thus, experienced a later spike in unemployment claims. That federally authorized program offers payments to people who traditionally don't qualify for benefits, such as independent contractors, gig workers and the self-employed. "With most states only beginning to ease their lockdowns within the last 10 days, we expect a much bigger swing in hiring versus firing over the next couple of weeks, which suggests the unemployment rate will begin to drop back".

Food Bank Distributes To Those In Need At The Barclay's Center In Brooklyn
Over one thousand individuals wait in line at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn for a free food distribution. Getty Images

The industries continuing to see the highest number of claims with benefits paid are accommodation and food services, retail trade, and health care and social service. Initial claims are simply an application for benefits and may be denied because a claimant is ineligible.

The officials said that once the fund becomes insolvent, they will be able to borrow from the federal government at 0% interest for the rest of 2020 to pay benefits. In other words, an unemployment rate of over 20 percent, said EJ McMahon of the Empire Center for Public Policy, who analyzed the most recent jobless data.

Claims have been gradually decreasing since hitting a record 6.867 million in the week ended March 28.

They were also clear that employees can not refuse to return to work out of fear of contracting the novel coronavirus and that there has to be other conditions that are met, like underlying health conditions or an unsafe workspace, in order for benefit payments to continue.

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