72,000 Louisiana people filed for unemployment last week

By David Jacobs | The Center Square 1 hr ago

Nationally, almost 2.9 million initial claims were filed during the week that ended March 21, an increase of more than 2.6 million, as businesses close or scale back operations in hopes of mitigating the spread of the new coronavirus.

Advance claims in Louisiana totaled 72,620 during the week ending March 21, compared to 2,225, the labor department says.

Those numbers have not been adjusted to account for seasonal trends, as is often done with unemployment statistics. Seasonally adjusted numbers indicate a nationwide spike of almost 3.3 million.

Louisiana’s unemployment trust fund is worth more than $1 billion. Louisiana Workforce Commission Secretary Ava Dejoie has said she believes the fund is strong enough to handle a surge in demand.

Since declaring a statewide public health emergency March 11, Gov. John Bel Edwards has issued increasingly restrictive mandates meant to keep people home as much as possible and discourage residents from gathering in large groups, though many businesses deemed “essential” under federal guidelines remain open.

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