unemployment

Ben Depp / National Geographic Society

As Congress debates a fifth coronavirus relief package and the future of the $600-per-week federal unemployment benefit that’s set to expire at the end of the month, Gov. John Bel Edwards said the lower amount proposed by Senate Republicans is not enough to support individuals thrown out of work by the coronavirus.

It’s long been clear that the Crescent City’s economy has been shattered by the pandemic. But a new report suggests New Orleans workers have not only fared worse compared to the rest of the state, but also compared to most urban centers in the nation.

From March 14 to May 2, more than 560,000 Louisiana residents applied for unemployment benefits.

That's about 12 percent of the total population of 4,645,184 people. But some estimates suggest nearly a quarter of the state is now jobless.

Record numbers of laid-off workers across Louisiana are waiting for badly needed assistance, while the state struggles to process hundreds of thousands of new unemployment claims. Their lives have been doubly upended by quarantine and financial hardship.

The Louisiana Workforce Commission has expanded its staff to help process the surge of unemployment claims they have received following the coronavirus shutdown.

Compared to last week, there’s been a nearly 1,700 percent increase in the number of claims.

Same Old Song: "It's About Jobs"

Jun 26, 2017
npr.org

The latest state employment figures are out, and the song remains the same one we’ve heard before from legislative fiscal analyst Greg Albrecht.

“We’ve been in a real decline, while the rest of the country has not. What we really need is job growth.”

Louisiana’s 5.7% unemployment rate, compared to the national average of 4.3%, is impacting sales tax and personal income tax collections, which together make up 61% of total state revenue.

Theologian Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox, the author of 30+ books, joins us to promote his recent work Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation

The Executive Editor of American Hunter Magazine and New York Times Best Selling Author Frank Miniter talks with Jim about his most recent book The Future of the Gun. He and Jim discuss gun rights, what's happening right now in Ferguson, MO., training courses for gun owners, etc...

Also, Kristi Williams with the Louisiana Department of Economic Development stops by the studio to discuss the new Louisiana Job Connection website http://louisianajobconnection.com. She describes the newest website as a "dating site" which seeks to match the right job seeker with the right employer looking to hire.


It makes some sense that young people might work less than their older counterparts. They are figuring out their lives, going in and out of school and making more short-term plans.

But a whopping 5.8 million young people are neither in school nor working. It is "a completely different situation than we've seen in the past," says Elisabeth Jacobs, the senior director for policy and academic programs at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.

The easiest time to get hired at one of the seven oil refineries in the Los Angeles area is during what's called a turnaround. These breaks, when the refineries are shut down for routine maintenance, are incredibly labor-intensive. And refineries want to get them done as quickly as possible.

So companies need enough people to get the job done. But those workers must have specific skills.

In this line of work, as with other U.S. industries, there's a skills gap.

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