Is this country ready for 2.5 million jobless claims in a week?
Know there is a thing that happens when a big story like this lasts for a while and I figure we are just about at that point now where it's happening so it's time to clue y'all in so we all know what's going on everything starts to sound the same like you've heard all the news updates before us for instance you've probably heard on this program. I don't know half a dozen times in the last week alone. That a number we are going to get tomorrow morning called first time. Claims for unemployment is going to be gigantic. Maybe two and a half million people filing claims against a normal week where it's two hundred and fifty thousand tops. I send that again because the big rescue bill that Congress still hasn't found a way to pass is throwing billions of dollars at unemployment insurance but every one of those two and a half million people who are GonNa Follow. More is a story in an unemployment system that is deeply deeply stressed from our bureau in Portland Oregon Marketplace's Mitchell Hartman Gazza's go so when we want this to go on here yeah okay. That's violin last. Friday was Steve Bench. Eros last day of work at the violin shop where he's fixed instruments for thirty years with music performances cancelled and business down. The shops closed indefinitely. We could use some work at home and we can do repairs but yeah. It's not exactly a Tele Commuting Business Ben. Shapiro didn't apply for unemployment right away. He'd heard horror stories of the Oregon website crashing. He finally tried last night and after some initial glitches got his claim. Filed Congress is sending money to the states to beef up staffing and administration but many states make qualifying for and receiving benefits. Difficult says Michael `grats at Columbia Law School since the great recession some states have reduced unemployment payments and eight states. No longer offer the standard twenty six weeks of benefits. So we've got poor and inadequate finance very inadequate coverage. It's just an archaic ineffective system. The Senate's new stimulus bill will send billions more to the states. Says Michelle Evermore at the National Employment Law Project? I think this will go a long way to smoothing the transition into into the next recession. It will pay benefits to workers staying at home to care for family members plus the self employed and independent contractors. This bill also will give everyone whether they're on the new pandemic unemployment assistance program or traditional unemployment insurance an extra six hundred dollars a week for four months that increases huge evermore says the goal is to replace workers pre corona virus paychecks and make sure people remain eligible for benefits without having to go out and look for work the last thing they should be doing during a pandemic. I Mitchell Hartman for marketplace. Another thing that people who two weeks ago had jobs but now don't have another thing they have to worry about is how they're gonNA get healthcare coverage from the workplace cultured as Marketplace's Megan McCarthy Carino has that one one week ago Sonia Zanardi was laid off from her job as a bartender in Washington. Dc. She's scrambling to apply for unemployment. Figure out how shall pay rent and what she's going to do about health insurance since her employer stopped. Subsidizing it on April Eleventh. Probably the scariest part of it for me. Because has we're going into a pandemic. She figures she'll get insurance on the health care exchange but in the past. That's cost four hundred dollars a month for a plan with a four thousand dollar deductible. She hasn't figured out. If she'll qualify for Medicaid but for now Cobra is just too expensive. I don't ever been this scared about my financial situation. But at least her former employer has paid for insurance for the next month. That's what Asher. Scofield is doing for five former employees of his shuttered gift shop the Frog toad in Providence Rhode Island being covered at a time. Like this is very scary. And we just want to make sure that everybody's taking care of through this that even before the pandemic more than twenty seven million people in the US had no insurance that includes many part time freelance and GIG workers who don't get health care or other benefits through an employer but might not qualify for public assistance. What is transpiring now is underscoring the critical need for us to refashion the social safety net. Nyu Business Professor Aroon soon. Dhiraj on says the reliance on traditional fulltime employers to deliver safety net benefits for workers was breaking down long before the current crisis. I'm Megan McCarthy Carino for marketplace. There was big rally today on Wall Street on news then. Economic Rescue Package was going to get done and then it didn't get done still up though we'll have the details when we do. The