Jobless claims highlight problems

Marie Waldron
Marie Waldron. Valley News/Courtesy photo
Assemblymember Marie Waldron, Special to Valley NewsThe coronavirus pandemic has thrown millions out of work and created massive problems at California’s Employment Development Department, the agency empowered to provide unemployment insurance to laid-off workers.Between March and May, EDD experienced a 3,400% increase in claims compared to January/February. From March 8 to July 18, EDD processed 8.7 million claims, including 6.8 million standard unemployment insurance claims and 1.4 million pandemic unemployment assistance claims. The agency has paid out $49.7 billion in benefits, and reports that 94% of requests for assistance have been approved.These numbers are impressive, but mask huge problems. The state’s 120 legislative offices often become the last resort for peopl
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