United States unemployment has reached record numbers with more than 30 million Americans applying for benefits in just six weeks, according to the Guardian. Economists expect the labor market to take another unprecedented blow for the month of April.
Roughly one in five people in California's workforce have applied for initial unemployment insurance benefits, including a "staggering" 37% of workers with no more than a high school diploma. That's the estimate of a study from the California Policy Lab that analyzed unemployment insurance claims from March 15-April 11. According to the California Economic Development Department (EDD), L.A. County's unemployment rate jumped from 4.3% in February to 6.3% in March. The state of California launched its Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program last week, giving many independent contractors their first chance to apply for benefits.But applicants have had a tough time getting through the system because of technical difficulties with the state's website.
Today on AirTalk we check in on unemployment in the state. Plus, some people are making more money through unemployment benefits than when they were working. We talk to the writer of a recent Wall Street Journal piece that looks at the challenges that presents for businesses as states look to slowly reopen. Do you have questions about unemployment across the state or the application process? Join the conversation by calling 866-893-5722.
With files from LAist. Read more from David Wagner here.
George Warner, attorney in the Wage Protection Program at Legal Aid at Work, a San Francisco based nonprofit law firm that assists low-income, working families throughout California; he tweets @readerznriderz