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Utah unemployment claims dwarf any preceding week

Posted at 8:39 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 22:39:04-04

Utah’s initial unemployment claims over two weeks amount to 48,250 workers out of their jobs.

Compare that to the working-age population of St. George, Utah’s 8th biggest city with just under 46,000 people between 18 and 64 years old:

Some more perspective…the worst week of job losses during the Great Recession ended on January 10, 2009, when 5,205 people put in initial unemployment applications.

The reason for the difference, the Great Recession was a more traditional economic downturn caused by a crash in the financial markets, whereas COVID-19 has created an abrupt, intentional halt to much of the economy to fight off a contagion.

People who have lost work will benefit from federal stimulus money adding $600 dollars to the standard weekly payment provided by the state.

The stimulus has also made unemployment benefits available to gig workers, freelancers and the self-employed who have lost their work due to COVID-19.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services wants as many applicants as possible to apply online rather than over the phone or in person. They say that streamlines processing.

You can apply at