Coronavirus Shutdown Spurs 3.2 Million To File For Unemployment

Kathleen Culliton

This article originally appeared on the New York City Patch

NEW YORK CITY — More than 67,000 New York City hospitality workers lost their jobs as the nation reported a record-breaking 3.2 million Americans filed jobless claims, data show.

Restaurant and bar owners reported laying off 67,650 employees afterGov. Andrew Cuomo issued his statewide "PAUSE," which banned the venues from having customers on the premises during the COVID-19 outbreak, according to the NYC Hospitality Alliance.

“It’s devastating,” said Executive Director Andrew Rigie. “We need to do everything in our power, as fast as possible, to support these businesses and revive New York City’s economy."

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The U.S. Labor Department reports joblessness claims 400 percent higher than the record 695,000 in 1982 as businesses closed and people across the nation were ordered home.

In New York, 80,334 people filed for unemployment between March 14 and March 21, roughly 66,00 more than the 14,272 claims filed the week before, data show.

Read More: Coronavirus Closure Puts NYC Restaurants And Economy In Peril

About 1.3 million New York City-area workers will be vulnerable to layoffs as the shutdown continues, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data. That's 18 percent of the area's workforce.

The U.S. labor report arrived one day after the U.S. Senate signed a $2 trillion stimulus package that has sparked outrage among local lawmakers for earmarking $1 billion for New York City out of $150 billion pooled for all U.S. cities.

New York City is the epicenter of the virus with 54 percent of New York state cases and about 32 percent of U.S. cases, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

"I don’t understand how anybody, any public servant could live with themselves if they deprived the cities in the middle of the biggest crisis since the Great Depression," de Blasio said Thursday night. "That is just immoral."

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