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New record for unemployment claims – more than 26.5 million in five weeks

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Another new unemployment record has been set with new unemployment insurance claims filed nationwide during the past five weeks of the COVID-019 pandemic soaring to approximately 26.5 million. There were 4,427,000 claims added for the week ending April 18, according to a report released this morning by the U.S. Department of Labor.

connecticut New York unemployment benefitsIn the week ending April 18, another 4,427,000 people filed unemployment insurance claims according to the seasonally adjusted initial claims total. The total for last week was a drop of 810,000 from the 5,245,000 claims for the week of April 11.

In this morning’s report, the Labor Department said that the unemployment rate for the week ending April 11 was 11%, an increase of 2.8% from the previous week. This marked the highest level for the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate in history.

In New York, there were 204,716 initial claims for the week ending April 18, a drop of 189,985 from the number of claims during the prior week.

Connecticut had 102,757 claims filed for the week ending April 18, an increase of 68,707 from the 34,050 claims for the week ending April 11.

U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia issued a statement in which he said what is already abundantly clear: “Today’s unemployment report shows continued, elevated unemployment claims caused by the coronavirus pandemic.”

Scalia said the Labor Department has counted 44 states now paying the $600 additional weekly unemployment benefit that was provided in economic recovery legislation. He also said that the department is using its enforcement powers to help protect workers.

“The department also continues to implement the paid leave requirements of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, and has now initiated hundreds of cases to ensure workers receive what they’re entitled to under the law,” Scalia said. “The department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration will continue to provide guidance and support to protect workers and ensure safe workplaces, backed up as necessary by appropriate use of OSHA’s enforcement authorities.”

The labor report said that New York ranked second on the list of states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 11. New York recorded a 50,250 increase in the number of claims from the week ending April 4. Topping the list was  Colorado with an increase of 58,246. Then came Missouri (up 10,668), Florida (up 10,534), and North Carolina (up 2,733).

The largest decreases in claims for the week ended April 11 were in California (down 263,342), Michigan (down 166,347), New Jersey (down 73,416), Georgia (down 70,551), and Ohio (down 66,874).

Meanwhile, the New York State Department of Labor has issued statistics indicating that unemployment for March of this year stood at 4.1% in Westchester, Rockland and Orange counties. That compared with 3.7% for March 2019. The state Labor Department said from March 2019 to March 2020 New York’s private-sector employment count increased by 12,900, reaching a total of 8,315,700. In addition, the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for March 2020 was 4.5% compared with 3.7% in March 2019.

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