Unemployment claims remain high by historic levels: Before the pandemic slammed the United States in March 2020, they were coming in at around 220,000 a week.
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Researchers who have studied work-share programs—which have been implemented in 28 states—say thousands of Indiana workers have been unnecessarily laid off.Read More
Low-wage workers have least cushion during coronavirus crisis
Many of those workers already live paycheck to paycheck—and a disruption in the flow of those checks could set off long-term financial problems. Foreclosures, evictions, bankruptcies, repossessions and more.Read More
Economists characterized last week’s increase as most likely a blip caused by some one-time factors and partly a result of the inevitable bumpiness in the week-to-week data.
State officials argued in their court filings Monday that a Marion County judge “abused” his discretion last month by ordering Indiana to resume participation in the benefit programs.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development said those who have remained unemployed since federal payments were cut off last month will begin receiving back payments.
Indiana’s unemployment rate has been hovering at or near 4% for the last sixth months. It was 3.3% in March 2020, just before the pandemic triggered wide-scale layoffs and job losses.
The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Monday that the state temporarily continue payment of federal unemployment benefits, affirming an earlier court order that Indiana must restart the extra $300 weekly payments to unemployed workers.
Attorneys for the state maintain Indiana can’t continue paying out the benefits because the state has already ended its agreement with the federal government to administer the federal programs.
The news is likely to be seen as a good sign for the economy more than one year into the pandemic, after numerous wrinkles have emerged to complicate a labor recovery many hoped would be faster at this level of vaccinations.
There are signs that people are re-evaluating their work and personal lives and aren’t necessarily interested in returning to their old jobs, particularly those that offer modest wages.
Last week’s drop in jobless claims nationally was steeper than economists had expected. Applications for unemployment benefits have now fallen in 10 of the past 12 weeks.
The state Department of Workforce Development said it was determining how to resume the federal programs if the judge’s order remains in place.
Gov. Eric Holcomb and the state’s Workforce Development office “will discuss an immediate appeal of the judge’s order with the Attorney General,” the governor’s office said.
While those supplemental benefits might have contributed to a reluctance to return to work for some, the unemployment rate in Indiana has declined dramatically since the height of the pandemic.
The latest numbers show Hoosiers filed 4,641 initial unemployment claims during the week ended June 12, a drop of 465 from the previous week.
A lawsuit filed on behalf of five Indiana residents and Concerned Clergy of Indianapolis challenges Gov. Eric Holcomb’s decision to end extended unemployment benefits provided through the federal CARES Act.
The latest numbers show Hoosiers filed 7,149 initial unemployment claims during the week ended May 15, a drop of 637 from the previous week.
The move will also end benefits for people who did not qualify for unemployment benefits before the pandemic, including gig-economy workers, independent contractors and self-employed workers.
More than 1.9 million people could see severe cuts in unemployment aid as Republicans seek to curb assistance
Indiana is not among the states cutting workers off from federal benefits. But on Thursday, Sen. Mike Braun, R-Ind., encouraged states to “pull the plug” on the benefits.
The number of weekly jobless claims—a rough measure of the pace of layoffs—has fallen significantly from a peak of 900,000 in January.
Indiana is joining several other states creating more requirements for people to stay on unemployment, with many businesses blaming the ease of obtaining the weekly jobless benefits with making it more difficult to fill job openings.