New survey shows unemployment rates taking a toll throughout the state

New York News

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — During the coronavirus pandemic, the state of New York has been struggling with unemployment as a whole.

As the economy is at a standpoint, it is affecting many families and livelihoods. Secretary Melissa DeRosa says the call volume to unemployment agencies is the most they have ever received.

“The peak of the 2008 crisis was the single largest day of claims. On that day we had 13,000 calls in one day. Two days ago we had six times that,” said Melissa DeRosa, Secretary to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Emerson College in Boston partnered with Nexstar to create a survey showing people’s reactions to COVID-19. The survey showed 40% of New Yorkers said they or a member of their household had lost a job due to the COVID-19 crisis. Hispanic or Latino New Yorkers were the most impacted regarding job loss: 53% of Hispanics said they or a member of their household had lost a job due to the crisis. Forty-eight percent (48%) of Asian New Yorkers, 42% of Black New Yorkers, and 33% of White New Yorkers said they or a member of their household lost a job due to the crisis. 

Spencer Kimball says when you see that the unemployment rate is only going up, it is alarming.

“Unemployment numbers are going up ten to fifteen points consistently right now. As a country, we are watching the jobs kind of melt away as the economy is stalled,” explained Spencer Kimball, Polling Director of Emerson College.

Many people are trying to cope with being jobless. They are frustrated with the response of many unemployment agencies. Tens of thousands of people are trying to file for benefits. Many people are claiming they either can’t get through to a representative or get kicked off the website.

“This volume is something we have never experienced before. It is frustrating, horrible, and it is unacceptable. But we just ask that people remain patient and know that we are working on it,” said DeRosa.

In the Emerson College poll, when it comes to reopening non-essential businesses, the results are similar. 16% of people think they should open between April 15th and April 30th. While 28% of people think they should open between May 1st and May 15th. Lastly 34% of people think they should open after May 16th, and 22% think they should open at a later date.

“It is concerning because it is not the type of business that is actually pulling away these workers. They are losing jobs in manufacturing, construction, leisure and hospitality. It is going to be difficult to back build these areas once we come back from this,” Kimball said.

Respondents were asked if they feel that life will return to how it was before the coronavirus, or if it will never be the same. The majority of New Yorkers (54%) feel that life will never be the same, as compared to 46% who feel that life will return to how it was before the coronavirus. 

Kimball says as a country we are all struggling in one way and need to stick together.

“I think at this time in this crisis people have to think a little bit outside their pocket books and think about the human aspect of things,” he said.

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