PA Unemployment Claims Surge By 650K Amid Coronavirus Crisis

Kara Seymour

This article originally appeared on the Newtown Patch

PENNSYLVANIA — Pennsylvania jobless claims surged by 650,000 in 10 days as the coronavirus crisis has unfolded.

The influx of claims comes as non-essential businesses were shut and schools closed to mitigate the spread of the virus. As of Thursday, Pennsylvania had more than 11,687 cases of the virus and 16 deaths.

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According to data from the Pennsylvania Office of Unemployment Compensation, 378,900 people filed claims between March 15 and March 21. From March 22 to March 25, 271,067 more people filed claims.

The news comes as the United States reported 3.3 million new jobless claims nationwide. That's more than quadruple the previous record set in 1982, NBC reported.

In response to the economic fallout from the virus, the U.S. Senate this week approved the largest relief legislation in the country's history. The nearly $2 trillion package is aimed to help American workers and businesses in the fight against the coronavirus.

Those eligible to file a jobless claim include people whose employer has closed due to coronavirus, or whose hours have been cut due to the crisis. Additionally, if you have been told not to work because your employer feels you might get or spread coronavirus or if you have been told to quarantine, you can file a claim.

More information on how to file a claim and resources can be found here.

"If you work in a job or industry that likely will be affected, prepare now by knowing what you need and how to file so your application can be processed quickly," Secretary of Labor & Industry Jerry Oleksiak said.