Unemployment claims top 500000 in Alabama during pandemic

2020 shows a truck backing into a loading dock at Coca Cola Beverages Florida past a

The number of Floridians who filed new unemployment claims last week remained nearly unchanged from the previous week, suggesting some stabilization in job losses as Florida businesses have started reopening after being closed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus, according to labor figures released Thursday.

NationallyThe Georgia and SC figures were reported as the federal government said Thursday that more than 2.4 million people applied for US unemployment benefits last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the viral outbreak that triggered widespread business shutdowns.

Last week, the GDOL issued over $55 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits.

The applications from last week were the lowest since late March and continued an overall downward trend as parts of Alabama's economy reopen. The state says about 64% of the unemployment applications from last week were related to COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

Claims for unemployment insurance began a historic rise in mid-March and have topped 38.6 million since then.

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Unemployment payments jumped to at least $16.2 billion in April, up more than five-fold from February, as layoffs attributed to the coronavirus pandemic swept through the economy.

Last week's claims data covered the week during which the government surveyed establishments for the nonfarm payrolls portion of May's employment report. But state unemployment systems were overwhelmed by the load and backlogs developed.

Jobless claims have averaged just above 3 million over the past four weeks. The economy lost a record 20.5 million jobs in April.

The number of regular initial claims fell again week-over-week - down from 22,483 for the week ending May 9. These so-called continuing claims numbers are reported with a one-week lag, but are considered a better gauge of the labor market. They can also gauge companies' ability to get people off unemployment or keep workers on payrolls as they access their share of a historic fiscal package worth almost $3 trillion, which offered loans that could be partially forgiven if they were used for employee salaries. The state saw about 116,000 claims for that program in the past week. An additional 2.227 million had submitted claims last week under the PUA program.

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