Indiana unemployment claims soar past 120,000 amid pandemic

Initial unemployment insurance claims surged to 120,331 in Indiana last week, up from just 2,312 two weeks ago, according to numbers released Tuesday by the Department of Workforce Development.

The new figure more than doubled last week’s claims. The numbers are skyrocketing as thousands of people lose their jobs either temporarily or permanently during the coronavirus pandemic.

In Marion County, claims rose from 425 in the week ended March 14 to 10,173 in the week ended March 21, then to 13,546 in the week ended March 28.

Hamilton County saw claims rise from 83 two weeks ago to 3,554. In Johnson County, claims went from 31 to 2,266 during the same time period.

Meanwhile over those two weeks, Madison County claims grew from 42 to 2,442 and Hancock County claims rose from 19 to 1,060.

Outside of the Indianapolis area, Allen County (Fort Wayne) saw a two-week rise from 115 to 9,950; Lake (Gary) went from 175 to 6,414; St. Joseph (South Bend) increased from 113 to 6,089; and Vanderburgh (Evansville) escalated from 83 to 2,997.

On March 23, Gov. Eric Holcomb told non-essential businesses to close and ordered Hoosiers to stay at home starting March 24—except to buy food or prescriptions, obtain health care, take care of others or go to an essential job—through April 7 in an attempt to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

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