Putnam's April jobless rate spikes to 14.7 percent

Joanna Estrada
June 1, 2020

We still don't know exactly how many bad claims were filed by fraudsters, and the Employment Security Department is still catching bad filings. but the crackdown has worked, LeVine said.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR) announced Wednesday that attempts may be made by criminals to file imposter claims in order to receive unemployment benefits.

On top of that, the state saw one of the largest increases in initial unemployment claims for the week ending May 16 with 1,549. Nationally, claims decreased 13.2% last week from the prior week, to 2.1 million, the Labor Department reported.

The fall in the state's unemployment claims comes as state and law enforcement officials investigate a Nigerian fraud ring, dubbed "Scattered Canary" by fraud experts, that may have filed hundreds of millions of dollars in bogus claims for jobless benefits from the ESD. The state of Tennessee will release statewide unemployment rate for May 2020 on Thursday, June 18, at 1:30 p.m. CT.

Why it matters: Even as states reopen their economies, the number of newly filed unemployment applications remains historically high as the pandemic slams the labor market.

As of Thursday, $4.1 billion in jobless benefits were being paid out, $1.6 billion from the state's own unemployment fund, and $2.5 billion from the federal expansion outlined under the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act, or CARES Act.

"This urgent hiring effort will further enhance the department's ability to process an unprecedented increase in benefit claims, while offering an employment opportunity for Californians during this hard time", said EDD Director Sharon Hilliard.

April was the first full month that the restrictions were in effect.

New employees will have the option of working from home or in offices throughout the state.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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