April 23, 2020 – At least 4.4 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits just last week as millions of businesses in every industry continue to lay-off employees and remain closed. About 534,000 of those are Californians. Front-line service workers have been hit the hardest and most of these are minorities and low-income employees.
Approximately 26 million have now lined up for unemployment aid and benefits since the outbreak of COVID-19.
A record of 16 million are now receiving unemployment benefits. This is a significant increase from the 10 million claimed in 2010. Michigan, Rhode Island, Nevada, and Georgia have the highest count of unemployment benefits received so far with 17%, 15%, 13.7%, and 13.6% respectively.
For the first time, millions of self-employed Americans such as freelancers, seasonal workers and contractors are now eligible to file for unemployment benefits as a federal relief package was made effective last month. As the different states continue to redesign their assistance structures, these applicants are still waiting for their benefits to be processed.
By the end of this month, financial experts estimate an unemployment rate of about 20%. Since the 1930’s, this is the worst economic crisis the U.S. has encountered.