Unemployment claims in North Carolina reached a dubious milestone thanks to COVID-19.
More than one million people filed for unemployment benefits in the past week, shattering every previous record and sending the state into territory not seen since the Great Depression. COVID-19 related layoffs accounted for 895,255 claims.
North Carolina paid out more than $1.4 billion since Gov. Roy Cooper initiated a statewide economic shutdown on March 15.
“We’ve reached a million claims filed and one billion dollars in claims paid in a short amount of time,” said Larry Parker, public information officer with the Division of Employment Security. “We continue to improve our processes to try and assist those who still need these benefits. We want to remind those who have filed a claim and still have questions, that they can find many of the answers they need online on our website.”
Nationwide unemployment reached Great Depression levels, as 3.17 million people filed for benefits in the week ending on May 2, surging the total number of people out of work past 33 million, accounting for approximately 20% of the country’s workforce, according to statistics released from the Department of Labor.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate increased 3.1 percentage points from the previous week’s unrevised rate, which was 15.5% for the week ending April 25.
For more information regarding unemployment benefits, visit des.nc.gov.
Eliot Duke can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 910-230-2038.