Orleans unemployment claims nearly 2,500 in 5 weeks

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 26 April 2020 at 8:14 pm

The number of people filing unemployment claims with the state was another 297 in Orleans County during the week ending April 18.

That brings the total filings in the county to 2,435 in five weeks since the state started closing businesses due to health concerns about the Covid-19 pandemic.

The county has a workforce of about 17,000 people. The 2,435 unemployment claims represent about 14 percent of the workforce. There were about 1,000 people on unemployment. Those people plus the 2,435 who recently filed for unemployment would put the county’s unemployment rate currently at about 20 percent.

The number of people filing for unemployment each week is going down locally and state-wide.

Here are the weekly unemployment claims the past five weeks in the GLOW counties and statewide:

  • Genesee: 421 (April 18), 931 (April 11), 886 (April 4), 1,308 (March 28), 268 (March 21)
  • Livingston: 403 (April 18), 918 (April 11), 996 (April 4), 1,338 (March 28), 227 (March 21)
  • Orleans: 297 (April 18), 581 (April 11), 595 (April 4), 824 (March 28), 138 (March 21)
  • Wyoming: 266 (April 18), 601 (April 11), 603 (April 4), 837 (March 28), 155 (March 21)
  • Statewide: 207,172 (April 18), 399,015 (April 11), 347,573 (April 4), 369,025 (March 28), 80,753 (March 21)

Although the unemployment claims are going down, they are still far more than in a normal week. The 297 claims in Orleans County the week of April 18 is about 10 times more than the 29 filed during the same time period a year ago.

The 207,172 claims filed state-wide during the week of April 18 compared to 12,250 during the same time period a year earlier.

NYS Department of Labor says $3.1 billion in benefits paid since Covid-19 crisis started

The state Department of Labor announced it has distributed $3.1 billion in unemployment benefits to New Yorkers since the coronavirus pandemic started impacting New York businesses in early March.

In total, more than 1.4 million New Yorkers have submitted completed applications for unemployment benefits since the crisis began, including traditional unemployment insurance and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

“Every state is facing major challenges when it comes to unemployment, but in New York we are upgrading our systems in real time while delivering benefits to New Yorkers faster and more aggressively than any other state,” said NYS Department of Labor Commissioner Roberta Reardon. “We will keep working around the clock seven days a week to ensure every single New Yorker gets every single dollar they deserve.”

States across the country have faced an unprecedented increase in the number of people filing for unemployment insurance – 26 million Americans have submitted claims. Since March 9, New York State has processed 1.4 million initial applications for unemployment benefits.

The $3.1 billion distributed to support New Yorkers who lost their jobs includes traditional unemployment insurance and new federal programs like Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides benefits for those not covered by traditional unemployment insurance; Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides an additional $600 per week for all benefit recipients; and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which provides 13 additional weeks of benefits, for a total of 39 weeks of unemployment benefits.

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