COVID-19-related unemployment claims are overwhelming state labor departments

iStock/Gwengoat(NEW YORK) — As businesses deemed “non-essential” close to comply with state orders to prevent the further spread of COVID-19, unemployment claims are quickly overwhelming state labor departments.

In New York alone, claims have spiked by 1,000 percent in some areas — with residents reporting that increased traffic is causing the website where one files for unemployment to crash.  The website was bombarded by 110,000 unique visitors this week, which is three times the regular amount.

Florida residents reported a similar issue, with the labor department seeing a “historic increase” in applications, as revealed by a FREO spokesperson.  The representative did not disclose how many unemployment applications the department has processed or received since last week.

Pennsylvania says it received 121,000 online claims across the span of two days.

In the wake of increased claims across the country, the United States Department of Labor cautioned states against sharing unemployment data, as the numbers could affect an already shaky market.  Instead, the DOL will release the latest unemployment numbers Thursday morning.

Morgan Stanley chief U.S. economist Ellen Zentner is not optimistic about the pending DOL report and predicts that 3.4 million Americans submitted jobless claims.

As labor departments to assist those who lost their employment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate struck a deal Wednesday on the $2 trillion package that will put money directly into Americans’ pockets.  

Details, although limited, say those making less than $75,000 annually will receive $1,200 while married couples making $150,000 or less will be sent a $2,400 check with an additional $500 per child.

The amount of money reduces for individuals further up the tax bracket and cease entirely for individuals making over $99,000 and couples without children making over $198,000.  

That said, the government says ninety percent of Americans will receive full or partial relief.  It is unknown when the checks will be dispersed, but the White House says it would like to have Americans receive them by April 6.

The bill also includes much-needed assistance to unemployment insurance and expands unemployment benefits to be received up to 39 weeks.   The boost is estimated to cost $250 billion.

President Donald Trump says he will sign the bill into law immediately.

In America alone, there are 65,000 diagnosed cases and1,031 deaths related to COVID-19.

Globally, there are now over 466,000 diagnosed cases and 21,000 deaths.   The amount of deaths in Italy and Spain have surpassed the number of reported deaths in China.  Italy’s death toll stands at 7,503 while Spain’s has risen to 3,434 — reporting 738 new deaths alone over the span of 24 hours, compared to Italy’s 683 reported on Wednesday.

Of the 467,594 diagnosed cases across the world, 113,226 individuals have fully recovered from the virus. 

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