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California processed more than 260,000 new unemployment claims this week


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — California continues to lose its jobs.

In its latest report, the California Employment Development Department processed more than 260,000 new unemployment claims just this week.

Meanwhile the unemployment rate is expected to rise.

KRON4’s Taylor Bisacky spoke to the former EDD director about his concerns.

It’s sights like this that are very troubling right now.

Many of these businesses have been boarded up since the start of the pandemic, and now months later — they’re still closed.

Meanwhile places like restaurants are running out of loans to pay their employees with — ultimately forcing them to lay off employees they already brought back.

As we’re now in month four of the pandemic, more businesses are permanently closing, and more jobs are being axed each week.

In its latest report, the California Employment Development Department says it processed 267,123 new unemployment claims last week.

“Breaking point today is that the job losses continue. they haven’t stopped,” Michael Bernick said.

Unemployment attorney and former director of the California Employment Development Department, Michael Bernick says the numbers are concerning, especially as we see many re-opening timelines in the bay area come to a screeching halt.

“There’s no question, that’s the main story line the past week or two weeks. We had a plan, we were moving forward, in my view too slow and then in the past couple weeks we moved back indoor dining, other forms of activities have been cut back,” Bernick said. “We’re beginning to see this, even now with past weeks number but I think were going to start seeing it more.”

Bernick, like many others, predicts we’ll see increased unemployment claims in the following weeks, and a rise in the unemployment rate this month.

While some of it has to do with restrictions being reimposed and automated jobs, a lot of it also has to do with small businesses running out of money from their Payment Protection Program – or PPP- loans.

“Paycheck Protection Program which subsided up to 100 jobs,” Bernick said. “For many companies, that money will have been spent by June 30 even though now recently congress extended the time that you can use the money but a lot of companies have spent it and I fear were going to see a number of jobs subsidized by Paycheck Protection Program now turning into layoffs.”

Contributing to an economy that’s becoming more dependent on unemployment insurance.

“This morning EDD released its most recent figures. It’s paid out over 40 billion now, 40 billion in unemployment insurance,” Bernick said. “Over 7.7 million unemployment claims so I mean we are an economy existing in good part on unemployment insurance claims. That’s not sustainable.”

While many jobs may not come back for a while, Bernick suggests approaches from the past — things like adding more transitional jobs.

For example jobs specific to this pandemic like contact tracers.

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