/Mississippi unemployment claims jump nearly 500% due to COVID-19

Mississippi unemployment claims jump nearly 500% due to COVID-19

This does not include the many applicants who couldn’t apply due to technical issues on the employment website. The call center lines were also jammed by the rush of job seekers. Between March 15 and 21 there was a decade high number of Mississippi unemployment claims: 6,723, an increase from the 1,147 in previous weeks. Jackie Turner, Director of Mississippi Department of Employment Security, called it unprecedented. However, the Mississippi number is still not record-breaking. The highest number of unemployment claims since the Great Recession began was 9,420. In 2005, the state saw a very high number of people applying for unemployment benefits. This included 21,000 in just one week following Hurricane Katrina in September. It also happened at different times during the 1990s. The department is still working hard to process more claims from those who were sent home, as well as those who are continuing to be laid off, and anyone who has encountered roadblocks in applying. This could be the beginning of a state that experienced more severe effects from the coronavirus than others. As the nation struggles with the global pandemic, 3.28 million people applied last week for unemployment benefits. The Mississippi Department of Employment Security administers unemployment benefits that are funded by employer taxes. Some potential applicants have had to wait for hours on hold as the department struggles to cope with the increased workload. Mississippi Today’s reporter called the unemployment agency and was greeted with a busy tone. The message stated that the call had not been transferred. The department announced Wednesday that a new email address was available at cv19@mdes.ms.gov, where applicants can seek assistance. . Officially, @MDESMS’s telephone lines are down for people applying for unemployment. People are encouraged to apply online for unemployment, although this has had its share of glitches. #COVID19 More here: https://t.co/J52Dk2s2hC pic.twitter.com/cvHcbGSrvy “Don’t give up,” advised Turner, the agency director. If they feel they are falling through the cracks they can use that cv19 email to let us know. We have staff assigned to that email address to work through those issues.” I know it is hard to have patience. Turner said that we are all afraid. We will get there. Turner said, “We will get there if you tell us.” Turner added that unemployment benefits start at the time an individual becomes eligible. This is usually the date of separation. Any delay in applying will not result any loss of pay. On Wednesday, the Senate approved a $2 trillion federal economic recovery program that increases weekly unemployment by $600 over four months. This would triple the benefit in Mississippi. According to a FAQ from the New York Times, gig workers and contract workers who are not eligible for unemployment benefits would be eligible. The bill must be passed by the House. U.S. Senator Roger Wicker responded to a tweet about Thursday’s claims data, writing, “This exactly why I voted last evening to pass emergency coronavirus aid.” This legislation will directly assist in preventing layoffs and prevent businesses from closing down. We are increasing unemployment checks for those who have lost their jobs.” Wednesday’s estimate by the Economic Policy Institute stated that Mississippi could lose 109,000 jobs due to the virus. The nation would lose 14 million. During the Great Recession, 62,000 state jobs were lost. Turner stated that the relief proposed is necessary to help workers in this difficult time. Turner stated that the relief will help people who are worried about their next meal and how they’ll pay their bills. Turner, the head of the agency that assists Mississippians to get to work, expressed concern about the impact that the generous assistance, depending upon how long it lasts, could have on the state’s economic health if people feel satisfied with the benefits. Turner asked, “Will people go back to work after the virus is gone?” With the amount of money coming through this avenue, will they be able to return to work? Turner assured Mississippi Today that it is necessary. It’s an unknown element. It all depends on the timeframe and the rules associated to the money. Will it discourage people from returning to work? Or will it encourage them to return to work? Turner’s remarks echo concerns expressed by some Republican members who opposed the provision in the bill that increases unemployment benefit. U.S. Senator Tim Scott, from South Carolina, stated that “we cannot encourage people make more money in unemployment as they do in employment.” The maximum weekly benefit in Mississippi could rise to $835. This is equivalent to $20.88 per hour for a 40-hour week. According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mississippi’s median hourly wage is just below $15 an hour. To keep up with federal and state changes, the state employment agency needs to update its systems. Tate Reeves waived the requirement that people who are receiving unemployment benefits work for their search. According to Mississippi Today screenshots, the system was still instructing applicants who were approved for benefits that they had to meet this requirement as recently as March 25. If there is a problem with a claim, the system will send a message to the applicant requesting that they contact the agency within three business days. This has increased anxiety due to jammed telephone lines. Turner stated that “We are working on” this because we are living in extraordinary times. “Rest assured, we are taking care to remove that message and going back to make sure all those people who did not respond within the three-day period are not penalized.” _x000D