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Cornelius News

Unemployment claims still climbing, UI checks should be coming

April 2. National weekly unemployment insurance claims data shows that initial claims increased by 3,000 percent in three weeks, from 211,000 in the week ended March 7, to 6.6 million in the week ended March 28. It’s the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted numbers, the US Dept. of Labor says.

North Carolina reports that more than 353,000 initial claims were filed between March 16 and April 1.

“What the labor market is currently experiencing is far more extreme than anything we’ve ever seen, including the worst weeks of the Great Recession,” said economist Heidi Shierholz from the Economic Policy Institute.

Generally speaking, unemployment claims do not include independent contractors, those who don’t have long enough work histories, as well as those who had to quit work to care for a child whose school closed.

“So the actual number of people out of work is higher than today’s’ data show us,” Shierholz said.

What the labor market is currently experiencing is far more extreme than anything seen during the worst weeks of the Great Recession.

Still, the number of unemployment insurance claims decreased Sunday for the second consecutive day, but remained higher than normal, the NC Commerce Department says.

There were 20,203 claims Sunday, down from 22,044 on Saturday. The daily peak to date was 34,706 on March 20.

Since March 16, there have been 287,262 claims filed, for which 87.2% of applicants cited the COVID-19 virus for the recent for their job loss, layoff from work, reduced wages or furlough.

North Carolina has the 2nd biggest increase in unemployment due to coronavirus.

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Sunday that the first payments for unemployment claims connected to the coronavirus in North Carolina will go out this week.