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Unemployment claims skyrocket amidst COVID-19 outbreak

As the number of positive COVID-19 cases rise here in the U.S. so does the number of unemployment claims. Community organizations respond to how they are being affected.

Last week Tennessee alone had a little under 40,000 people file for unemployment.

This week Tennessee saw more than 50,000 new claims across the state.

“We knew coming in that jobs would potentially be lost, hours would be cut with the effect of coronavirus", says marketing and event coordinator for RIFA, Lindsay Dawkins.

More and more people are being laid off and they are looking for help to get through these uncertain times.

Local non profit, RIFA, says they anticipated seeing more foot traffic at their office.

Dawkins adds,“so, at RIFA we fully anticipated seeing more people come through our doors in need of service for food.”

Madison County is in the southwest Tennessee district along with six other counties for the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

The entire district saw over two thousand new claims with in a week.

With this increase RIFA says they want to help as much as they can.

“Yes, we have seen an increase in people coming to our facility in need of food because of being laid off. This is one thing we are able to help with as far as food, so they can spend their monies elsewhere", says Dawkins.

For more information on unemployment insurance contact the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. In Jackson, for 39 News, I’m Imani Williams.

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