Louisiana News

New unemployment claims in Louisiana exceed 100,000

(The Center Square) – New unemployment claims in Louisiana topped 100,000 last week as businesses nationwide remain closed or limit their operations in hopes of mitigating the spread of the new coronavirus.
The U.S. Department of Labor says 102,985 workers made initial unemployment claims during the week that ended April 4, up 5,585 claims from 97,400 claims the previous week. Those numbers have not been adjusted to account for seasonal trends, as is often done with employment statistics.
Gov. John Bel Edwards said about 277,000 Louisiana workers applied for unemployment benefits between March 1 and April 4, compared to about 103,000 during all of 2019.
Nationally, about 6.6 million people filed for unemployment benefits as of last week, down 261,000 from the previous week’s 16.8 million claims.
Starting next week, Louisiana will begin paying enhanced unemployment benefits using federal funds approved by Congress as part of a national relief and stimulus package. Unemployed workers will get an additional $600 on top of what they would normally receive, which in Louisiana is no more than $247.
Workers who normally don’t qualify for unemployment benefits, such as contractors and self-employed workers, are eligible. The federal payments end July 31.
Due to the increased number of claimants, officials say the best time to file an unemployment claim is between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. at louisianaworks.net.
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