Pennsylvania jobless claims exceed 1 million since outbreak

Pennsylvania jobless claims exceed 1 million since outbreak

HARRISBURGH, Pa. — Unemployment compensation claims in Pennsylvania exceeded 283,000 last week, a massive number that nevertheless was a 30% drop from the prior week’s all-time high as the state pressed for business shutdowns to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

All told, last week’s claims vaulted Pennsylvania past 1 million jobless claims since the coronavirus began taking a severe toll on the economy in mid-March.

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From March 16 through Sunday, more than 1.1 million Pennsylvanians filed for unemployment benefits. That’s about one-sixth of the nearly 6.6 million people that Pennsylvania reported being in the civilian labor force in February.

Unemployment compensation claims in Pennsylvania peaked at almost 406,000 in the week ending March 28. That figure was second in the nation to California.

Meanwhile, about 4,550 employees of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board will join another roughly 9,000 state employees who are going on unpaid leave after Friday, an agency spokeswoman said.

The employees keep their health insurance and have the option to use sick leave and vacation days, or file for unemployment benefits.

Third straight day of nearly 1,500 new coronavirus cases in PA; 642 cases in Allegheny County