ATLANTA - The number of unemployment claims filed in Georgia grew exponentially last week as the coronavirus pandemic continued to cause massive job losses.
The Georgia Department of Labor processed 133,820 claims during the week of March 22 through March 28, an all-time high and significantly above the 12,140 claims filed during the previous week.
“People are anxious and worried about their health, their families and how they are going to continue to make it financially during these uncertain times,” Commissioner of Labor Mark Butler said Thursday. “We are here to help. … Our team is working overtime, nights and weekends to process the tremendous volume.”
With a record number of claims being filed, the labor department dispersed more than $14.5 million in unemployment benefits to 64,022 Georgians during the week ending March 28.
The $2 trillion economic stimulus package Congress passed last week extends state unemployment benefits by 13 weeks and includes $600 per week in addition to regular state benefits.
The state labor department signed all of the necessary agreements last weekend to access funding for this program. The agency is still waiting to receive guidelines from the U.S. Department of Labor on how to administer the money on behalf of the federal government.
The state labor department also is continuing to work with employers to get Georgians back to work. More than 116,000 jobs are listed online at www.EmployGeorgia.com for Georgians to access.
Information on filing an unemployment claim, details on how employers must file partial claims, and resources for other reemployment assistance can be found on the agency’s webpage at www.gdol.ga.gov
By Dave Williams, Bureau Chief - Capitol Beat News Service