Business, Politics

Maryland unemployment claims fall, Md. Dept. of Labor hiring

NOTTINGHAM, MD—The number of Marylanders filing for first time unemployment benefits dropped compared to the prior week.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Thursday that 60,823 Maryland residents applied for first-time unemployment benefits for the week ended April 11, 2020. That marks a decrease from last week’s record-breaking figure, which was revised upward to 109,489.

Across the nation, a total of 5,245,000 filed, a decrease of 1,370,000 from the prior week’s revised level.  Last week’s level was revised upward by 9,000 from 6,606,000 to 6,615,000.

Maryland’s unemployment insurance fund is funded by the payroll taxes that state employers pay.

“Today’s report reflects the continuing impact of the important public health measures being taken to defeat the coronavirus,” said Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia on Thursday. “Americans are making sacrifices for the well-being of the country, and the Trump Administration is moving quickly to support workers and small businesses during this difficult time.”

“The Department of Labor has issued all the essential guidance the States need to implement the historic unemployment benefits expansion under the CARES Act, and 29 States are now paying the $600 weekly boost in unemployment benefits under the Act,” Scalia added. “The remaining States will begin providing the benefit as they update their systems.”

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“The Department has disbursed more than half a billion dollars in administrative funding to States to help them contend with the surge in claims and burden on their staff and computer systems, and additional funding will be released as States apply and meet the requirements set by Congress,” Scalia concluded. “The Administration also continues to prioritize keeping American workers connected to their employers through programs that aid business owners in keeping workers on payroll. As America maintains its disciplined efforts to ‘slow the spread,’ the Department will continue to prioritize getting prompt relief to workers and the States and businesses that support them.”

The Maryland Department of Labor, meanwhile, is hiring to keep up with increased demand. The department is hiring over 100 individuals to more than double staffing at its Unemployment Insurance Claim Centers throughout the state. Positions are available in Baltimore City, College Park, Cumberland, Hagerstown, Salisbury, Towson, and Waldorf.

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