At least 10 percent of American workers have lost their jobs in the past three weeks amid the coronavirus pandemic after a record 6.6 million new claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week.
Nearly 10 million people applied for benefits in the last two weeks of March as the coronavirus spread throughout the country and businesses closed.
The number will likely keep increasing, in part, because many states are still clearing out backlogs of applications for unemployment aid.
More companies are also resorting to layoffs to save money as they run through their cash cushions as virus-related shutdowns persist.
Hundreds of people in Miami spent hours on Wednesday waiting in line to fill out unemployment forms after the website they were posted on crashed
Hundreds of people in Miami spent hours on Wednesday waiting in line to fill out unemployment forms after the website they were posted on crashed.
The Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, which processes unemployment benefit applications, couldn’t handle the surge on its website as panicked Floridians flocked to it amid the coronavirus-induced economic downturn.
People have been reporting issues with the page for two weeks, while people calling the agency’s phone line have faced hours on hold.
Authorities began distributing paper forms this week in the Cuban neighborhood of Hialeah where lines to pick up the documents wrapped around the block.
Up to 50 million jobs are vulnerable to coronavirus-related layoffs, economists say – about one-third of all the jobs in the United States.
That figure is based on a calculation of positions that are deemed non-essential by state and federal governments and that cannot be done from home.
It’s unlikely all those workers will be laid off or file a jobless claim but it suggests the extraordinary magnitude of unemployment that could result from the pandemic.
Authorities began distributing paper forms this week in the Miami neighborhood of Hialeah where lines to pick up the documents wrapped around the block.