New Claims Send Unemployed Ranks To New Highs
Workers accounting for nearly one-third of the Massachusetts labor force have filed initial unemployment claims since March 15, according to state data released late Thursday.
Hours after Gov. Charlie Baker talked about the "economic calamity" that has struck Massachusetts, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said Thursday that another 38,081 workers submitted new applications for traditional unemployment insurance between May 10 and May 16. The office also reported 115,952 more claims last week for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance created by Congress to extend benefits to previously ineligible individuals, such as gig workers and the self-employed.
Since March 15, the two programs have seen a combined 1.23 million initial claims in Massachusetts. If state officials find each claim to be valid, that would represent 32.9 percent of the labor force in March.
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