New York State’s unemployment rate went up 14.5% in April

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ALBANY, NY – New York’s unemployment rate went up to 14.5% in April according to recently released numbers from the state department of labor. 

As the coronavirus continues to take a toll on the economy NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappbianca has more on the state’s response. 

The State Department of Labor is calling it the “largest monthly employment drop on record.”

Nationally the unemployment rate for April was 14.7%. 

((Robert Mujica, NYS Budget Director)) We went from about 50,000 calls on a maximum per day at the department of labor dealing with unemployment calls to a high of 8 million calls a day now averaging about 3 million calls. 

The state’s budget director says when the pandemic began the state had a staff of 500 people to deal with claims. That number then bumped up to over 3,000 and now 7,000.

He says the state hired 5 outside contractors to “staff up quickly.”

((Robert Mujica, NYS Budget Director)) We’ve gotten 10 billion dollars out the door to we now have over 2 million New Yorkers. So 100% of full-time employees are New York State workers. The vast majority of the private contractors are using New York State employees.

The largest hit sector has been leisure and hospitality. 

The virus has also taken a toll on small businesses.

Today the Governor announced additional state assistance.

((Andrew Cuomo, Governor)) New York State is starting its own small business relief program working with private banks. We have over 100 million dollars available to make loans to small businesses.

The Governor says the priority will be for minority and women owned businesses with 20 or less employees and less than 3 million in revenues.

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