Record 26m Americans seeking jobless benefits

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Almost 1 million Ohioans have applied for unemployment benefits in the last five weeks, eclipsing the number of initial jobless claims filed in the last two years and bringing the state's probable jobless rate closer to 17%.

Georgians can still collect full unemployment from the state while returning to work if they make less than $300 a week.

"We are committed to providing this emergency financial assistance to Michigan workers as quickly as possible, but we know we still have a lot of work left to do to get every dollar in benefits to the working families that need it most", said Michigan Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio. To qualify for the new program, they have to be rejected for unemployment insurance, so anyone who has lost work due to COVID-19 should first file a claim through the state's online portal. More than $100 million has been paid out to 69,015 out-of-work Mainers, according to a labor department release. In a teleconference Thursday, CDLE said they received 95,000 payment requests between the 19-21 and acknowledged they were behind sending money out. While initial claims have declined from the peak, continuing claims are still growing, showing that people remain out of work despite support from the U.S. government, she said.

Those who are self-employed, independent contractors, sole proprietors, gig economy workers, have insufficient work history, or believe they are eligible for the PUA program, will be able to submit their applications online and receive their benefits retroactive to their earliest date of eligibility.

A record number of new claims for unemployment have been made since mid-March, which Fortman says has swamped the unemployment office.

It took the coronavirus pandemic a matter of weeks to wipe out a decade's worth of new jobs.

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Florida is also considering offering backpay for delayed claims.

Since the pandemic began, two-thirds of Mainers who applied for unemployment benefits are now receiving them, Fortman said, including an extra $600 per week in federal assistance from the CARES Act.

"There's still some growing pains as you can imagine going from processing 500 a week to, as I said, 72,000 in five weeks", said Scott.

The restaurant has yet to reopen.

The 806 initial unemployment claims processed last week for Douglas County residents was down about 40% from the record 1,353 processed the week ending April 4, said Brian Rooney, a regional economist with the department. "But other than that, I don't have any other income, and I'm nearly out of money".

That's more than the last three years combined. Instead, it looks for a drop in activity, spread across the economy and lasting more than a few months. The US economy is now "going to go through another period of evolution", Rieder said.

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