Study: Less than 1/3 of Unemployed Americans Received Benefits in March

  • New startling data reveal than just 29% of the unemployed in the U.S. received benefits in the month of March.
  • Payment rates varied among states. In the worst state, Florida, only 7.6% of claimants received benefits.

According to new data from the Pew Research Center, the vast majority of unemployed persons in the U.S. did not get any help from their states’ unemployment systems last month. States are struggling, and largely failing, to deal with the record shattering tidal wave of newly unemployed workers due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Nationwide, only 29% of claimants actually received any benefits for the month of March. That means that over two-thirds of out-of-work people desperately seeking help got no help at all.

The data show that benefit payment rates also varied widely among different states. In the state with the lowest rate, Florida, only 7.6% of claimants — about 1 in 13 — received benefits. In Massachusetts, the state with the highest amount of benefit payments, 65.9% of jobless workers successfully got their March benefits.

Experts warn the numbers for April could be just as dire, or even worse. The report’s data only cover March, the very beginning of the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We already know that nearly 1/3 of renters did not make their rent payments on-time for the month of April. As new information trickles in, it is clear the U.S. working class is facing an economic crisis unprecedented in modern times. It remains to be seen, however, whether federal and state government agencies will follow through on their pledges to the working class.

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