Virus Outbreak New York

Residents of the Kew Gardens Hills neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York line up May 5, 2020, for free face masks distributed by the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation at the Mauro playground.

(The Center Square) – Amid signs that at least a partial reopening of New York’s economy could take place this month, the state’s weekly unemployment claim filings continued to drift back toward normalcy, although they remain far above numbers seen before the COVID-19 crisis.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday morning that another 195,000 New York residents filed for jobless benefits during the week ending May 2. That brings the state’s total unemployment filing number over the course of the past seven weeks to about 1.8 million.

The latest numbers are an 11 percent decline from the previous week, but still well above the 14,272 unemployment claims the state recorded for the week ending March 14, the last before widespread shutdowns across the country began to drive a surge in business closures and layoffs.

Nationally, about 3.2 million people filed for unemployment, bringing the seven-week total across the United States to 33 million. As some states have already begun to reopen, some businesses have reopened in those states and individuals who filed for unemployment early in the crisis may already have returned to work or will do so in the coming weeks.

California led all states with 318,000 claims, and Maine had the biggest percent jump in claims with a 111 percent rise from the prior week. On the other end of the spectrum, Alabama had a 62 percent decline in claims, the biggest drop from the previous week.

Managing Editor

Delphine Luneau is a veteran journalist with more than 20 years of experience. She was the editor of Suburban Life Media when its flagship was named best weekly in Illinois, and she has worked at papers in South Carolina, Indiana, Idaho and New York.