The nation’s unemployment rate falls to 14.7, how the state is dealing with it

Local News

ALBANY, NY – According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics the nation’s unemployment rate now sits at 14.7 percent.

More than 20 million jobs were lost just last month. 

And, in New York some people are still struggling to receive their benefits. 

NewsChannel 34’s Corina Cappabianca has more on the state response. 

The state says it has improved the unemployment website and added representatives to help with claims.

But, even with all of that some say it’s not enough.

((Melissa De Rosa, Secretary to the Governor))

We paid out 2.1 billion dollars in all of 2019 in unemployment insurance. In the last 7 weeks New York has paid out 6.8 billion dollars to 1.6 million people. 

To get a hold on the volume the state partnered with Google and Verizon to improve the unemployment website. 

Last month they also announced a “new streamlined application” for pandemic unemployment assistance.

And the Department of Labor increased the amount of representatives. 

But, some say more work needs to be done. 

Assemblymember Mary Beth Walsh is calling on the labor department to “improve performance.”

In a statement she says her office still receives several “pleas for help” on any given day.

She says, “While the initial increase of representatives on the phones from 1,000 to 3,000 was a good-faith effort that seemed like it would help expedite the complexities of this process, it has definitely proven not to be enough.”

((Melissa De Rosa, Secretary to the Governor))

We’re continuing to streamline the process we’re adding more bodies. We’re throwing literally everything we can at it and again none of that matters to people who are still struggling and who are waiting to get money put into the bank. 

The Governor says it’s an issue that’s overwhelming all states.

((Melissa De Rosa, Secretary to the Governor))

If we had spent 20 million dollars to upgrade the tech system and it wasn’t necessary or there wasn’t a crisis at the moment I’m sure we would have been getting phone calls from publications saying why are you wasting 20 million dollars in taxpayer money on a tech system, so we are literally building the plane while we’re trying to fly it. 

The Governor’s Secretary again apologized today to people who continue to have difficulties receiving the benefits. 

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