Commonwealth Policy Center

Unemployment numbers continue to increase. New people applying for unemployment benefits totaled 6.648 million. This doubled the record set the previous week. Some analysts say that number of those actually unemployed may be even higher. That’s because several states’ employment department websites were overwhelmed, which delayed several applications from being processed. In comparison, just one year ago, the weekly total of unemployment claims was just 211,000. Since most of the country has been ordered to self-quarantine and stay at home, many businesses have been forced to close, bringing the economy to a halt. So don’t be surprised if unemployment numbers will continue to break records. If there’s any consolation, it’s that the federal government has increased employment benefits to equal the full pay of the unemployed and have extended it to four months.