Unemployment up 3766% compared to this time last year

Coronavirus

Graph: DBEDT

HONOLULU (KHON) — In the week ending on March 28th, 2019, 1258 unemployment claims were filed. Fast-forward to the same week a year later: 48,639 unemployment claims were filed, an increase of 3766.4%. The state labor department says there were nearly 161,000 initial claims for unemployment filed in March.

The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) released this information in its weekly statistical update, a grave sign of COVID-19’s ongoing effect on the state’s economy.

Kauai experienced the most drastic change, with an 8489.4% increase compared to the same time last year.

Comparing the same week in 2020 to 2019 for each county:

  • Oahu had 26,339 more claims filed (3867.7% increase)
  • Hawaii had 6,130 more claims filed(1819.0% increase)
  • Maui had 10,751 more claims filed (5907.1% increase)
  • Kauai had 3,990 more claims filed (8489.4% increase)

Governor David Ige encouraged business owners with fewer than 500 workers to apply for the Small Business Administration’s Cares Act loan program. Moreover, stimulus checks from the federal government are expected to arrive early for folks with direct deposit information on file with the IRS.

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