The Journal Gazette
Thursday, May 21, 2020 12:50 pm

Indiana jobless claims reach 670,000 during virus outbreak

Associated Press


INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana saw about 30,000 more people file for unemployment benefits last week as business struggles continue despite the easing of the state’s coronavirus restrictions.

Job losses have slowed in recent weeks, but roughly 670,000 people have sought jobless aid in Indiana over the past nine weeks since business closures swept across the country, the U.S. Department of Labor statistics said Thursday.

The number of initial unemployment applications submitted in Indiana last week was about the same as the week before and well below the 100,000-plus the state received for three straight weeks in late March and early April. Indiana was receiving fewer than 3,000 claims per week and had a 3.2% unemployment rate before the pandemic hit the country.

Indiana has also reported processing nearly 69,000 applications for a separate federal program set up for self-employed and gig workers.

The federal statistics show Indiana was paying unemployment benefits to about 285,000 people during the week ending May 2, while only about 13,000 people received those payments a year earlier.

Nationally, more than 2.4 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week. April’s unemployment rate reached 14.7%, the highest since the Depression.

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