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California has averaged 106,000 unemployment claims daily, nearly 750,000 in a week, or 3.8 percent of the entire state workforce.
Economies worldwide are suffering from coronavirus pandemic. Production activities in many industries have been suspended, lots of businesses have been shut down, and as a result, there is chaos in the labor market. Unemployment claims surge to near-unprecedented levels: in California, this number has reached as much as 1 million cases.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Wednesday:
“We just passed the 1 million mark, in terms of the number of claims, just since March 13.”
The number of unemployment claims in California started growing alongside with closing of many businesses and stay-at-home orders.
Newsom has also revealed some other statistical data. He said that at least 2,535 Californians have tested positive for the deadly virus, up 17% in the last 24 hours. Among these cases, 37 people are under 17. As of Wednesday morning, the coronavirus took the lives of 53 Californians.
California Employment Development Department stated:
“Approximately 41,000 claims processed per week is the most recent average over the last few months. Given the unprecedented increase in [unemployment insurance] claims due to COVID-19, we have taken several steps—working around the clock, including Saturdays and Sundays, and redirecting hundreds of staff to process claims—to ensure every Californian gets benefits as timely as possible.”
To combat coronavirus economic consequences and handle unemployment, the Senate proposed a relief bill. In California, unemployment insurance has been $450 per week, but with the Senate bill, $600 per week would be added for up to four months.
“This bill will be very helpful, and it’s very timely.”
Besides, California and its cities will receive $10 billion, not including the benefits to workers and individuals.
Governor Newsom has also secured support from Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo and nearly 200 state-chartered banks, and credit unions to protect homeowners and consumers.
Unemployment Claims in Other States
The number of unemployment claims has already surpassed 1.64 million for the week ended March 21. This broke the previous record of 695,000 claims filed the week ended October 2, 1982.
Nomura economist Lewis Alexander said:
“In previous deep recessions, most notably in 2008 and 1980, initial claims during the worst four weeks of the recession would total 2 [million]. That is consistent with the shock from COVID-19 compressing a significant deterioration in the labor market into a much shorter period relative to previous contractions.”
The problem is common for all the American states, only numbers differ. For example, the state of Florida got 21,000 applications for unemployment on Monday and 18,000 on Sunday. This exceeds typical daily averages of between 250 and 1,000. New Jersey saw 15,000 applications in one day last week, a record high that crashed its filing system. California has averaged 106,000 unemployment claims daily, nearly 750,000 in a week, or 3.8 percent of the entire state workforce.