“This is not only a public health disaster, this is also an economic disaster, in Mississippi and in this nation,” Gov. Tate Reeves said yesterday during a press conference discussing the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing efforts in the state.
Stories of difficultly in reaching unemployment offices have been rampant. The state is hiring temp staffers, expanding call center hours, and allowing WIN job centers, which are otherwise closed, to accept unemployment claims. Regardless of the date an unemployment claim is processed, applicants will be paid based on day they were laid off.
After signing the emergency declaration three weeks ago, Reeves issued an order rolling back the one-week waiting period for benefits and the job search requirement.
The recently signed $2.2 trillion stimulus package include a $600 per week federal bump in addition to state benefits for those receiving unemployment.
This week, U.S. jobless claims set another record, with 6.6 million claims filed. That doubled the record of 3.3 million from the week before. For perspective, the peak in 2009 was 665,000.
“The COVID-19 virus continues to impact the number of initial claims. Nearly every state providing comments cited the COVID-19 virus,” the Labor Department said.
“States continued to identify increases related to the services industries broadly, again led by accommodation and food services. However, state comments indicated a wider impact across industries,” the government added. “Many states continued to cite the health care and social assistance, and manufacturing industries, while an increasing number of states identified the retail and wholesale trade and construction industries.”
Every state is begin negatively impacted, some worse than others. According to CNBC analysis, the state’s with the most claims per capita last week were Hawaii, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Rhode Island. South Dakota, Wyoming, Connecticut, West Virginia, and Utah saw the fewest claims.
Mississippi has 24 claims per 1,000 workers, which is on the lower end.