Coronavirus: More Than 2.4 Million Californians File Jobless Claims In A Month

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — California may be flattening the curve of the coronavirus outbreak, but the spike in economic pain is getting worse.

In California, more than 2.4 million jobless claims were filed in the last month. In just the last week, the state processed more than 925,000 claims, which were up nearly 2,500 percent over last year.

VAN NUYS, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 09: Juana Gomez (2nd L), from North Hollywood, wears a face mask, while using a trash bag to protect against the rain, as she waits in line to receive food at a Food Bank distribution for those in need as the coronavirus pandemic continues on April 9, 2020 in Van Nuys, California. Organizers said they had distributed food for 1,500 families amid the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

In Van Nuys, LA city officials say they distributed 36-pound packages of food to 2,500 people, many of whom stood in the rain for hours.

“We’re hearing people who were doing fine a month ago, and they’ve been laid off — they’ve been furloughed or had their hours cut back. And now they’re in a situation of needing help right away,” said Michael Flood, CEO of the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank.

One industry that took an immediate body blow from the coronavirus outbreak was the travel industry. On April 8 of last year, the TSA says it checked in more than 2 million people a day, but this year, the agency screened just shy of 95,000 people on the same day — a drop of 96 percent. The drop in air travel has also spread to corresponding services like tour and shuttle bus drivers.

Californians will receive an extra $600 in weekly benefits on top of normal unemployment checks starting Sunday. The state is also adding more than 1,000 workers to help process jobless claims.

Los Angeles County has launched a new helpline for small business owners, laid-off workers, and even those in the gig economy to help them get the aid they need.