Leaders look for answers as unemployment filings skyrocket

NOW: Leaders look for answers as unemployment filings skyrocket

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Blue-collar workers are what Michigan and Indiana are known for to the rest of the country - but now, leaders are scrambling to lessen the giant spike in unemployment.

Even most employment agencies are shut down, save for phone and online services.

Commissioner of Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development Frederick Payne touted Gov. Eric Holcomb’s executive orders in a news conference Thursday to keep as many unemployed workers covered as possible.

“The governor has given us broad flexibility to ensure that as many Hoosiers who are out of work due to COVID-19 are covered,” Payne said.

“He’s also waiving the one week waiting period for unemployment insurance benefits.”

As for safety on the job, President of Indiana’s AFL-CIO chapter Brett Voorhies said not enough is clear.

“I’ve been getting lots of private messages on (our) Facebook page,” Voorhies said.
“I had one, a guy who works for a pest control. They’re saying he’s an essential worker. He’s concerned; he’s going out in some of the jobs that are elderly people’s houses (too). And so, how do you determine that? That’s something we have to do better at.”

Michigan residents laid off their jobs can apply online. The same process goes for Indiana workers, though both states encourage people to fill out forms after normal business hours.

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