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New Claims in New York for Special Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Nearly Doubled Between May 9 and May 23rd; NY Unemployment May Reach 25%.

The United States Department of Labor May 28 Unemployment Claims report showed that 427,000 New Yorkers filed claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance between May 9 and May 23rd, nearly double the 226,000 New Yorkers who were on this program as of May 9th. Not only that, for the week of May 23rd, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims exceeded claims for Regular Unemployment Insurance- 250,000 vs. 192,000.

NEW YORK INITIAL AND CONTINUED UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS
INITIAL CONTINUED
23-May 16-May 16-May 9-May
REGULAR 192,193 223,962 1,824,663 1,875,935
PANDEMIC 250,130 177,684 226,631
TOTAL 442,323 401,646 2,102,566

Source: https://www.dol.gov/sites/dolgov/files/OPA/newsreleases/ui-claims/20201122.pdf

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance is a special program created by Congress to help Americans who didn’t qualify for traditional unemployment assistance- people who are self-employed, contractors, and gig workers. There were weeks of delays in accessing unemployment insurance in New York and across the country because states were unprepared for the surge of claims related to loss of employment during the pandemic. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance was a completely new program and states had to ramp up to provide the assistance; it’s not surprising that many people are just finally accessing this new program.

New York State had 2.1 million people on the two types of Unemployment Assistance on May 9th, three weeks ago. With hundreds of thousands of new claims since then, the total number on unemployment could reach up to 2.5 million, or 25% of New York’s 10 million person workforce.

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