A record number of Americans -- 6.6 million to be exact -- applied for unemployment benefits last week, according to new data out from the U.S. Department of Labor.
That number makes up more than half of the 10.4 million who filed claims over the month of March. The Washington Post reports the number of people who have filed for benefits in the last two weeks has eclipsed that same number from the first six months of the Great Recession. Businesses both large and small across the country have been forced to close their doors, and no cash flow can mean not being able to make payroll, and as a result many employers have had no choice but to furlough or completely lay off some or all of their employees. The Labor Department hasn’t released a number for March unemployment, but it is expected to have spiked from 3.5 percent in February. Some economists say it could even be north of 10 percent.
Today on AirTalk, we want to hear from you, and we want you to know that millions of Americans are navigating this right now, so you’re not alone. Have you recently lost your job or been furloughed due to COVID-19? How are you getting by in the meantime? Do you expect that you will be able to return to your job? Join our live conversation by calling 866-893-5722
Angela Reddock-Wright, employment attorney, mediator and workplace investigator ; she is Managing Attorney of Los Angeles-based Reddock Law Group