More than 80,500 jobless claims were filed in the last week in New York, according to the state Department of Labor, amid the deepening public health crisis surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.
The initial increase for unemployment insurance is a 520 percent rise. Each of the state's 10 labor markets saw a minimum 284 percent spike in unemployment insurance claims, state officials said.
That number is likely an undercount: Many people who have lost their jobs either have not qualified for unemployment insurance or could not get through the jammed phone lines to file a claim.
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From March 16 to March 21, the state Department of Labor received 1.7 million calls and 2.2 million web hits. Applicants are asked to call now based on the first later of their last name. A-F on Monday; G-N on Tuesday and O-Z on Wednesday. If you miss your day, Thursday through Sunday.
Governor Andrew Cuomo on Thursday at his daily press briefing on Thursday said New Yorkers facing unemployment aren't alone, nor is the situation their fault.
"I'm sure it is a terrible feeling and a frightening feeling for everyone," Cuomo said. "No one has been here before. This is going to change us. It is going to help form a new generation."
The jobless claims in New York come after federal officials announced nationally 3.3 million people had filed for unemployment.
Non-essential businesses have been ordered to close in several states, including New York, in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
The $2 trillion federal coronavirus relief bill, expected to be approved later Friday by President Donald Trump, will send $1,200 to individual taxpayers who earn less than $75,000. Couples earning less than $150,000 will receive $2,400. For families with children under 16, an additional $500 will be included. The bill is also due to expand unemployment insurance.