The pace at which Americans are losing their jobs is absolutely breathtaking. According to the Wall Street Journal, the largest number of new claims for unemployment benefits ever recorded in a single week prior to this year was 695,000 during the week that ended October 2nd, 1982. So that means that what we are now witnessing is completely unprecedented. About half the country is currently under some sort of a “shelter-in-place” order, and there has never been a nationwide shutdown of businesses anything like what we are currently experiencing. Many are hoping that America will be able to “get back to normal” soon, but that all depends on the progression of this pandemic. The number of newly confirmed cases in the U.S. spiked by more than 11,000 on Wednesday, and the number of new deaths continues to escalate at a very alarming rate. Until those numbers start to improve, life is definitely not going to “get back to normal”.
In recent days, so many newly unemployed Americans have been trying to file for unemployment benefits that it has been crashing websites all over the country. For example, a newly unemployed worker in Michigan named Aaron Garza never was able to file for benefits through Michigan’s unemployment website although he kept on trying throughout Monday and Tuesday…
When Aaron Garza was dismissed this week from his job as a parts specialist at a Toyota dealership in Grand Rapids, Michigan, he joined a tidal wave of unemployed people swamping systems to help them and straining state finances to the breaking point.
On Monday, Garza went to Michigan’s unemployment website and tried logging on to apply for benefits electronically. After 30 minutes, he was able to sign on, but by the time a verification code was sent to his phone 25 minutes later, he had already given up. As of Tuesday afternoon, he still hadn’t been able to get through.
Last week, 108,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits in the state of Michigan.
That is 20 times more than normal.
In Louisiana, things are even worse. If you can believe it, the number of people filing for unemployment benefits is more than 40 times higher than usual…
In Louisiana alone, 71,000 people filed new unemployment applications last week, compared to the usual 1,400 or 1,500 people per week, said state labor secretary Ava Dejoie.