If you have lost your job through no fault of your own, you can apply for unemployment benefits if you meet all the eligibility criteria. However, many times, despite meeting the requirements, your state’s insurance program might deny your claim. In such cases, you have the right to appeal the denial. So how do you file an unemployment benefits appeal? Read on to know the process.
How To File An Unemployment Benefits Appeal?
You will have limited time to appeal your unemployment benefits. Some states have as little as 15 days, and others have 30 days. If your claim is denied, you can file for an unemployment benefits appeal through online or mail.
- Log in to your online UI account
- Click view and maintain the option
- Click monetary and issue summary
- Choose the issue ID and click appeal
There are two ways to file an unemployment benefits appeal through mail
- File the appeal request information form that was mailed to you along with the notice of denial.
- Include claimant ID, contact information, and write a letter requesting for appeal.
The form or the letter must be mailed to your state’s Department of Unemployment Insurance. The process of filing an unemployment appeal may vary with your state. Check your state Department Of Labor for more guidelines on how to appeal to unemployment benefits.
On appealing the unemployment benefits, have copies of information like warnings, timesheets, medical records, contracts, contracts, or other documents that support your argument that you were not laid off through your fault. The more supporting documents you have, the higher the chance you will win an appeal.
If you have witnesses who are aware that you haven’t lost your job due to your fault, it can be very helpful. Bring the witnesses with you or ask them to be available over the phone or virtual unemployment appeal on the day of hearing so they can testify on your behalf.
You can also bring legal or other professional representation to the hearing. If you hire a lawyer, ask about fees, so that you can decide if it is worth the expense.
What Happens When You File An Unemployment Benefits Appeal?
After you file an unemployment benefits appeal, you will receive a notice of hearing. The notice will include the hearing date, time, and location. The hearing can be either over telephone or face-to-face. Telephone hearings will be allowed only under certain circumstances like you are located at least 50 miles away from the hearing location.
If it is over the telephone, you will get 14 days advance notice of hearing, and 7 days in advance of the face-to-face hearing.
Not showing up for the appeal hearing may result in denial of your appeal. If you are not able to attend under unfortunate circumstances, be prepared to provide documentation that proves you had a genuine reason for missing the appeal.
Can You File A Claim During The Appeal Process?
Yes, you can file a claim during the appeal process. Continue to file for unemployment benefits as scheduled. Also, be available or able to work and actively look for a job. Unemployment benefits are usually contingent on the claimants looking for work. You don’t want to get through your appeals process, only to learn that you have been disqualified from receiving your benefits because you are not actively looking for a job.
However, note that you will not receive any benefits during the process. If you win the appeal, you will receive the benefits of those weeks.
Despite submitting all the evidence, there are chances that you may lose the appeal. Do not be devastated if you lose the first hearing of an appeal, as many states have multiple levels of reviewing. To know more about the appeal process and rules in your state, contact authorities at the Department of Unemployment Insurance.
The Child Care Services (CCS) program in Texas provides financial aid to low-income families and enables parents to work, take up educational activities, or attend workforce training. CCS is funded through the federal Child Care and Development Fund (CCDF) and is led by the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) in Texas.
Who Qualifies For The Child Care Services Program?
Families should meet certain federal, state, and local requirements to be eligible for the Child Care Services program. Families with children under the age of 13 qualify for the Child Care Services under the following circumstances:
- Families are low-income
- Are needing or receiving protective services
- Parents are receiving or transitioning off of public help
- Family is participating in a training program for a minimum of 25 hours per week
Qualifying families can choose from the child care providers who meet local and state requirements such as:
- Licensed or registered child care homes
- Licensed child care centers
- Relative (i.e., family member)
In addition to the above requirements, families should meet gross income requirements.
||Gross Monthly Income
( Initial Ability 200% FPG)
|Gross Monthly Income
( Sustaining Ability 85% SMI)
- Eligibility requirements and coverage payment may differ by service area. In a few cases, the local board may have a waiting list for the CCS.
- The CCS program covers a portion or, in rare cases, all the child care expenses.
The Child Care Services Program During COVID-19
In response to the COVID-19, Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) authorized Tarrant County Workforce Board has extended the Child Care Services program to essential workers. The CCS program is now available to Tarrant County CCS child care providers, provided they remain open during the COVID-19.
Who Qualifies As An Essential Worker?
Essential workers include:
- First responders
- Military personnel
- Bank staff
- Grocery store staff
- Gas station staff
- Restaurant staff
- Mail and delivery service staff
- Pharmacy and health care workers
- Local and state government staff
- Any workers deemed essential by Board or TWC
- Home health care, nursing home, child care, and other direct caregivers
Eligibility Criteria For The Child Care Services Program During COVID-19
Essential workers must meet a few requirements to qualify for the CCS program. These include:
- Their child is under the age of 13 (under age of 21, if disabled)
- They are US citizens or legal immigrants
- They reside within Tarrant County
Essential workers must meet the state income eligibility threshold requirements either monthly or annually to qualify for the CSS program.
||Gross Annual Income
( 150% SMI)
|Gross Monthly Income
( 150% SMI)
Where To Apply For The Child Care Service Program?
Families can apply for the CCS program either by filing an online application or by downloading the application and sending it to the authorities in your county through the mail. If you have submitted an online application, you will receive a confirmation number. Note down the number as you can use it to track the application.
Your request will be processed within 2 business days of the date post the submission of a completed application form. During the process, the authorities may contact you to verify several aspects.
The Child Care Services program gives you an opportunity to provide quality care and enhance your child’s early learning. If you qualify for the program but haven’t filed yet, then hurry up and apply for the program.
However, if you don’t qualify for this program, you can check if you are eligible for financial relief measures like Texas unemployment benefits, SNAP benefits, etc.
Due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many businesses have shut down, pushing millions of Americans into unemployment. As per reports, about 20 million people have lost their jobs in April alone. To help the unemployed meet their financial requirements, the U.S. Congress has passed a $2 trillion stimulus package. This package offers unemployment benefits to full-time employees and self-employed workers, freelancers, contractors, etc.
The package also provides partial unemployment benefits to those who meet certain requirements. Read on to know more about the partial unemployment benefits during COVID-19.
Who Can Receive Partial Unemployment Benefits During COVID-19
1. People whose working hours and wages have been reduced
If your work hours and wages have been reduced as a direct result of COVID-19, you can file for partial unemployment benefits. The authorities will calculate your weekly benefit amount based on your gross wages (wages earned before any deductions).
When filing for benefits, you must report all your wages, and earnings above $30 will be deducted from your weekly benefit amount. You may also qualify for Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), provided you have received at $1 under a partial unemployment benefits program.
For instance, if you earn $180 in a week, you would receive $90 + $600 FPUC every week. But if you earn at least $240 in a week, you will not be eligible for partial unemployment benefits for that week.
2. Individuals Who Have Two Jobs But Lost One
If you hold more than one job and are furloughed from one of them, then you may be eligible for partial benefits. The eligibility criteria may vary with states, and the benefit amount would depend on your weekly earnings (gross wages).
Many states offer partial benefits depending on your hours worked. However, states like New York calculate your benefit amount based on the number of days worked during the week. In addition to partial unemployment benefits, you will be eligible for FPUC.
You are not eligible for partial benefits if you have voluntarily cut your working hours because you wanted to spend more time with your family or wanted to go back to school.
The Act also provides funding to states’ shared-work or short-time benefits program. Under this program, employees subject to work reduction or temporary layoff qualify for partial employment benefits, provided their employers are looking forward to retaining them, despite lack of work.
The employee, as well as employer, should fill a Notice of Reduced Earnings form. By filing for benefits through this program, an employee must not show that he/she can work, be available to take employment, and is actively seeking a job.
Where To File For Partial Unemployment Benefits?
You can file for partial benefits through your state’s website for unemployment benefits. To file a claim for partial UI, you must provide the following information (the necessary information may vary with states).
- Full Name
- Mailing address
- Social Security number
- Phone number
- Home address
- Most recent employer information. This includes:
- Company name
- Phone number
- All employer details from the 18 months before you applied your claim
- Names of employers
- Period of employment
- Method of payment
- Wages earned
- Driver’s license or ID card number, if any
- Most recent working date and the reason for no longer working
- Citizenship status (this can include an alien registration number)
The amount received through partial benefits is much lesser than the regular UI benefits. But the additional $600 makes applying worthwhile.
If you are a self-employed pr freelancer and do not qualify for partial unemployment benefits, you can apply for pandemic unemployment compensation (PUC).
The states provide unemployment benefits to help the unemployed meet their financial needs temporarily. States use different formulas to calculate the unemployment benefits. In general, the amount is determined by wages earned during the primary and alternate base period, and the amount given is half the wages. But in some cases you may be paid more than what you are eligible. So what should you do in such situations? Should you repay the overpayment of unemployment benefits? Figure it out here!
What Is An Overpayment?
An overpayment is the extra unemployment benefits that are paid to a claimant who is determined not to be entitled to those benefits.
Reasons for Overpayment of Unemployment Benefits
Overpayment of unemployment benefits can happen due to various reasons such as:
- You did not provide all details
- You have committed mistakes while filing a claim
- You have knowingly given misleading or false information
- You were not willing, ready, and able to work
- You did not submit the report of work search activities
Types Of Overpayment
Overpayment of unemployment benefits are of two types: Non-Fraud and Fraud.
This type of overpayment of unemployment benefits occurs if you receive an amount that you were not eligible but through no fault of your own. You don’t have to pay any penalty if you are overpaid in such situations but just repay the overpaid unemployment benefits.
This kind of overpayment occurs when you give incorrect details, make false statements, or withhold information to get benefits. Fraud overpayment of unemployment benefits will cause you to be ineligible from receiving benefits for 1 year.
Fraud overpayment will require you to pay a penalty in addition to repaying the overpaid benefits. The penalty amount may vary with states. Fraud overpayments exceeding $400 will be treated as a crime.
Common Reasons For Fraud Overpayments
- Working a full-time, part-time or temporary job but not reporting earnings
- Not submitting the record of your work search
- Filing a claim without looking for a job
- Providing fake or incorrect information when filing for benefits or a weekly certification
- Not reporting severance and bonus pay
How To Avoid Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits?
When the authorities find out that you have been overpaid, they may carry out an investigation and disqualify you from receiving the benefits, if proven guilty. Therefore, it is wiser to take necessary steps to avoid overpayment. Some of them include:
- Actively look for job opportunities
- Provide accurate and complete information to DES when you file for benefits and weekly certifications
- Maintain and submit your work search record
- Report gross wages
- Report all income earned for each week you work
Will You Be Notified If You Are Overpaid?
The authorities at the state unemployment department will notify you through mail if you have been overpaid. The notice will include how much penalties you owe (if applicable), instructions on how to appeal and repay the overpaid amount.
What Happens When You Receive Notice of Overpayment?
When you are overpaid, you will receive a notice of overpayment from your state unemployment department. If you don’t request a waiver or appeal, the authorities at your state unemployment department will recover the overpaid amount from your unemployment benefits, provided you are still receiving them. During the process, you will receive lesser amounts. Once they recover all the overpayment, you will receive benefits you are entitled to get.
If you are not receiving the benefits, then the authorities will recover the overpayment by collecting the money from your tax refund. If they cannot recover all the overpayment for the time being, it will collect the money from your future benefits, if you file for any.
How To Request A Waiver?
A waiver forgives complete or a portion of the benefits you have been asked to repay. You can request for a waiver only if you have received the overpayment by mistake, i.e., non-fraud overpayment.
You should request for a waiver within 15 days of receiving the notice. You can apply for a waiver by filling your state’s overpayment waiver request form.
How To File An Appeal?
You can file an appeal if your waiver is denied. In many states, you will be entitled to a hearing before an administrative law judge to consider your appeal.
How To Repay Overpayment Of Unemployment Benefits?
You can repay the overpayment of unemployment benefits by sending a check to the unemployment office. If you are unable to pay at once, you can negotiate a payment plan.
Whether you have overpayment due to your fault or through no fault of your own, you must repay the entire amount. If you have any queries, then contact your state unemployment office for clarification.
Due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, millions of Californians are losing their jobs. To cope up with the situation, the Employment Development Department (EDD) is providing unemployment benefits in California. The benefits are not only available to the unemployed, but also to people who are quarantined or are caring for the sick.
Unemployment Benefits In California
In general, California unemployment benefits last for up to 26 weeks. But due to the unprecedented circumstances, the federal policymakers have expanded benefits and eligibility through various financial relief measures.
1) The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program provides a 13-week extension of benefits. That is, the claimant can get benefits for 39 weeks.
2) The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program provides an additional $600 on the top of regular unemployment insurance benefits to the claimants.
3) The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) offers benefits to self-employed, gig workers, etc.
Who Are Eligible For Unemployment Benefits During The Pandemic?
PEUC, PUA, and FPUC have their own set of eligibility criteria. But be it PUA or PEUC, there are some common requirements that you must meet to qualify for benefits. They include:
- You must be fully or partially unemployed
- You have lost employment through no fault of your own
- You are able to work, actively seeking employment and available for work
- You must report all your earning earned during the claiming week
- You must submit records of your work searches
Though it is mandatory to meet the criteria mentioned above to qualify for the benefits, the federal government is allowing the authorities at California the flexibility to amend the laws to provide UI benefits concerning the Coronavirus pandemic. For instance, the authorities at California can pay benefits if:
- Your employer temporarily shuts down operations due to Coronavirus, preventing you from going to work.
- You are quarantined and expected to return to work post quarantine
- You are not going to your work fearing the risk of exposure or infection
- You are giving care to a family member diagnosed with the Coronavirus
- You have quit your employment as a direct result of the Coronavirus
- You have been scheduled to commence a job but are unable to reach the workplace due to the Coronavirus
Where to File for Unemployment Benefits in California?
Californians who have lost a job due to the pandemic can apply for the unemployment benefits through the state’s EDD.
- Visit Benefits Program Online and register yourself, if you are applying for the benefits for the first time.
- Next, log in to the Benefits Program Online
- Go to UI online and select file a claim
- Read the instructions and provide necessary information
- Click submit
After submitting the claim, you will receive a confirmation number. Save it for future reference.
The EDD has provided various options to collect payment. For instance,
- Quarantined or sick Californians who are unable to work due to the pandemic can apply for disability insurance claim online
- If you are giving care to a family member diagnosed with the pandemic, you can apply for paid family leave claim
How Long Does It Take To Receive Unemployment Benefits?
Earlier, EDD used to take about 3 weeks to process claims. But with the surge in demand, the department is likely to take more time to provide the benefit. However, EDD is planning to keep claimants informed as the situation evolves and also encouraging them to check the EDD website for updates.
What Is The Department Doing To Speed Up Claims?
Many claimants have complained about the delays in processing the benefits. To address these concerns, Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order to expand the call center work hours. Earlier, the call center worked 4 hours per day from Monday to Friday, the new call center that now operates 7 days a week from 8 A.M. to 8 P.M.
Due to the increase in the number of claims, your claim may be delayed. However, if you don’t hear back from the department for weeks, you can consider reapplying for the claim.
We have previously taken a look at the states with the largest number of UI claims with regard to their progress in with the new unemployment insurance systems. Since then, there have been reports of a lot more people starting to receive their weekly entitlements in those states. But some states have not yet started implementing the new UI benefits rules.
In this post, we will take a look at the states that seem to be having the worst time coping with CARES Act implementation and take a look at the most common complaints people have about them.
Common Problems Faced By All States
The US never before faced such a large volume of unemployment claims with over 15 million people filing. Many states had in fact cut back their unemployment compensation systems due to the good economic growth and historic lows in unemployment rates. They are thus swamped and experiencing the following:
- Servers overloaded with requests
- Jammed phone lines
- Staff shortage
The Coronavirus Economic Security Act took care of the state unemployment trust fund insolvency by giving agreeable states, funds for the Pandemic Unemployment programs. Now let’s look at the states whose citizens are having the roughest time.
This state has been facing flak for its slow response in handling the large number of UI claims. Official data shows more than 470,000 filings so far, but the number is an underestimate as numerous people haven’t even been able to open an account or reach out to a worker over the phone. Florida has contracted out technological upgrades and hired call centers but thousands of people report being unable to access the website.
Many who were able to file claims are frustrated at being unable to see their determination status or have no idea when they will receive benefit payments. Florida’s economy is in worse shape than other states due to its reliance on tourism which is unlikely to resume even after lockdown ends. The state had also reduced benefits and payment weeks over the years.
Ohio’s Lt Governor Jon Husted said that the state needs to hurry up with topping up the state unemployment trust funds because it will be unable to handle the volume of claims at this moment. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has declared that people may start getting UI benefits tentatively from next week. It may be early May by the time the self-employed and part-time workers and others previously ineligible for unemployment compensation, may be able to have claims successfully processed.
The state website has been outdated for years and is thus unable to handle the influx of people. The state is attempting to upgrade it, but more effort is needed.
Though Ohio has been hiring staff and getting deputed employees they have insufficient training resources. This will put many people with barely any savings in great inconvenience.
This is another state lagging behind on unemployment claims processing. Many people newly eligible for UI benefits such as the self-employed, those furloughed or not receiving pay due to COVID-19 etc. Even people who successfully filed benefits in mid-March have reported not receiving payments etc.
Washington like other states is scrambling to hire people to man the call centers. They need to upgrade the system which is reportedly unable to handle the new calculations due to the changs from the CARES Act. The date for expanding UI officially through the CARES Act has been set at Apr 18th.
The state has at least passed a ban on eviction, bringing welcome relief to people out of jobs.
Other States Having Almost Identical Problems
- Virginia– Not executed the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program yet. It has missed two promised deadlines of Apr 7th to announce details and Apr 10th to start enrolling eligible workers to PUA
- Oregon– System underwent a glitch that may not have been fully fixed as people are asked by it to restart their claims process. The state has not legally waived waiting week requirement yet.
- Missouri– The state has not indicated a timeline yet for when PUA payments could start going out, as it remains swamped by UI applications.
- Maine– $600 payments are yet to be started. The governor has passed orders to restrict evictions.
Some states are in talks over the limited reopening of a few economic sectors and companies. This might reduce the unemployment situation marginally, but is going to be of limited use. Many people are employed in accommodation and food services as well as manufacturing, which provides the purchasing power to fuel the spending in the country. The states will need to speed up on implementing UI benefits.
As a sector dominated by gig workers and contractors, unemployment in arts, entertainment and recreation sector has been drastic, next only to the accommodation and food services sector in scale. Sub-sectors include performing arts, museums, theatres, amusement parks, gambling arcades, stage shows, fitness centers, spectator sports, etc. The movie industry also comes under this sector.
Many states have declared shutdowns affecting footfall to these venues while they have voluntarily closed down in many places to avoid being a hotspot. We shall take a brief look at this sector to understand the prospects with coronavirus and what former employees can expect in the near future.
Overview Of Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
This sector employed about 2,481,500 people in 2019 and 2.46 million people in March 2020 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The current unemployment rate is 8.6% but it has been historically at an average of 4.6% over the past year.
The top occupations in this sector are fitness trainers and instructors, entertainment attendants and other workers as well as janitorial staff. The largest number of employees are amusement and recreation attendants. Employees earn an average hourly wage of $15.87. Many are employed and paid on an hourly basis in this sector.
There is a wide disparity in the wages of on-screen personas vs behind-the-screen staff in the case of the film industry. The working hours’ number a minimum of 24 per week on average.
The entire market was valued at approximately $336 billion.
COVID-19: Unemployment In Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation
Most businesses in this sector are deemed non-essential and have been closed down by government orders. This sector will thus face a huge decline in revenues in this second quarter of 2020 (provided the coronavirus recedes after that). These businesses have furloughed low-wage employees and imposed pay cuts upon more skilled workers.
In Colorado, the maximum number of layoffs is in Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation. Los Angeles has not released data yet, but as the home of Hollywood and performing arts, many layoffs will be from this sector.
Entertainment industry representatives self-report that at least a 100,000 workers living paycheck to paycheck are out of work. With the slow progress of state labor departments in tackling the massive numbers of UI claims, these workers are in dire straits.
Museums and auction houses across the US are laying off workers. These institutions had requested the government for aid through the CARES Act. Some institutions like the Indianapolis Contemporary are closing down permanently.
How To Deal With The Present
This sector has faced almost a stoppage in job creation. There are a few job openings at gaming companies and media creation houses like Netflix. But the vast majority of work cannot resume till sports centers, stage shows, entertainment centers, etc. are allowed to open again.
In the meanwhile, those who are unemployed should file for UI benefits immediately. One can also look forward to the direct economic payment from the US government.
There are several voluntary community interventions to help those who find themselves out of work:
- Will Rogers Motion Picture Pioneers Assistance Fund for theatrical exhibition employees
- #PayUpHollywood has raised money through a GoFundMe campaign to support production assistants
- Writers Guild of America has waived COVID-19 testing costs
The situation in the Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation may be quite dire. Even when the country starts working normally again, people will not have the money to spend in these places. The unemployment may go on longer than for other sectors. These venues may also remain closed for longer than other places if the coronavirus spread lasts longer than expected.
Many theatre groups and museums have been struggling financially for years and coronavirus has struck them a death blow. Such ex-employees will need new jobs. Some of the better off cultural centers may be able to survive with just salary freezes. This sector will not create jobs for a long time.
On the bright side entertainment industry workers in California have already started receiving benefits. As the teething troubles get slowly sorted, more people will be able to successfully file UI claims.
The global economic shutdown following the Coronavirus pandemic began with a lot of speculation and fear over the prospective job losses. Three weeks on we have a clearer picture of what is happening and what the future will need in terms of bouncing back from the economic impact. We will take a brief look at how unemployment due to coronavirus is faring and what the likely future holds.
Unemployment Due To Coronavirus At The Moment
The coronavirus pandemic comes after months of job gains and good economic progress. In January alone nonfarm payroll employment rose by 225,000 and similar numbers were seen in February as well.
But now nearly 700,000 jobs previously added, have been wiped out by the global slowdown and precautions being taken in the US. As of now only 41 US states have issued lockdown orders, so more claim numbers can be expected if this situation worsens and all states adopt lockdowns.
Over 16 million unemployment claims were filed in the last 3 weeks, though not all of them are by people who have officially lost a job. The government has relaxed UI rules to accommodate those having reduced or no pay and the self-employed.
The last time in recent history that such huge job losses occurred was from 2008-10, when over 8 million jobs were lost, during the Global Financial Crisis. But this present scenario shows US history’s fastest job losses.
The largest contributors to unemployment vary across states, but the following sectors have seen the biggest losses:
- Accommodation and Food Services
- Arts and Entertainment
Retail Trade has had a mixed response with some establishments doing well due to their supply of essential goods.
Coronavirus Deaths And Unemployment
The COVID-19 was not initially seen as a terrifying disease but that soon changed as the mortality grew, all over the world. Quite a few senators have ended up sick, though those who can afford good healthcare have made a recovery.
This is what’s causing the fears that have spurred global shutdowns. Most people have family and friends who would be susceptible to the disease. New York alone has already seen more than 7000 deaths.
Even without shutdowns, a recession-like situation was bound to happen, as people stay home to avoid spreading the virus. Once certain economic sectors begin to collapse, they take others down due to the interconnected nature of the economy. No job is truly recession-proof.
Lessons from Spanish flu: Disease and Unemployment
Coronavirus is not the world’s first pandemic. The last time a disease spread as wide, was the Spanish flu. It ravaged the world for more than a year from 1918-20 and killed off a quarter of the world’s population, while it was still reeling from World War I.
Although the shutdowns may cause some shocks and pain now, the Spanish flu era shows that cities that made earlier and aggressive preventive interventions had a quicker return rate to normal economic activity. Disease always reduces a population’s productivity, hence striving to maintain it provides a more capable population.
What The Future Entails
Some economists think that the Coronavirus pandemic could go away with tremendous job gains, once the labor market fully revives. They liken it to the 1981-82 recession when the short-term recession caused short term layoffs but workers were later rehired.
Others are not so optimistic. It’s likely that Americans would be afraid of future infections following this pandemic and would start saving, especially if a vaccine is slow to develop. They may not frequent restaurants to the pre-coronavirus extents or shop as much, keeping demand suppressed.
Under such situations, a string of bank loan defaults are likely and may push economic recovery lower. Lenders will not have the confidence to support economic growth.
Wait and watch is the only approach we can take during these hard times. The best option for all of us is to follow the physical and social distancing measures and support the country in fighting this pandemic. Fortunately, the government is taking care of Americans in the short run with stimulus checks and UI benefits. Be sure to file yours if you stop receiving pay.
Retail Trade is a significant sector in the modern economy. It employs a large number of people across various verticals from food to fashion. The market has players as big as Amazon to small neighborhood artisanal stores. You’d expect retail trade to be hit badly by the coronavirus, but there is a mixed record. What is the unemployment in retail trade looking like?
Retail Trading consists of establishments that sell merchandise to retail consumers without themselves altering the products. Even though some retailers are backed by production houses, for the purposes of understanding the sector, that is disregarded for our purposes. Retail Trade also includes non-store retailers like infomercials or catalog retailers.
Overview Of Retail Trade Sector
The Bureau of Labor Statistics informs that the sector employed 16.8 million people in 2018. It showed an unemployment rate of about 7% over the last two quarters.
The top occupations in this sector are Sales Workers, Supervisors, and Cashiers. Salespersons constitute the largest group of employees. Employees may be paid an average of $20 a week and work for an average of 30 hours a week.
Impact Of COVID-19 On Unemployment In Retail Trade
While not the biggest impact, which the food services sector felt, retail trade has also been hit badly except a few players.
Personal Care stores and health stores have closed down, laying off employees as have sporting goods stores and clothing stores. Nordstrom and other clothing retailers have furloughed employees. Fast fashion brands like H&M were already under fire even before the pandemic and the lockdowns have affected them all.
Electronics Retailers including Apple are experiencing a huge demand drop. With so many unemployment claims filed people have no money to spare. Bookstores and hobby/crafting stores are facing the same problem.
Some big retailers like Amazon, Gap, TJ Maxx, and Kohl’s have been slow to close their stores and have been reported to not take adequate precautions to protect workers.
Types Of Jobs Still Available
This is where the mixed news comes in. Supermarkets and grocery stores are doing alright during this period. Sales of food and cleaning supplies are at an all-time high and shops selling them, including pharmacies are open. Many of them are hiring sales workers and shelf stockers.
Although Amazon is famed for its eCommerce, it does have some offline ventures like its Go Stores. Them as well as companies like Whole Foods, Target and Walmart are actually hiring workers to cope with the increased orders.
The retail sector’s death has been predicted many times over the years, but it has held on well. In the short term, clothing and shoe retailers are likely to see the biggest losses until the economy equilibrates.
Though online shopping is rising in popularity, the in-store experience and tangibility offered by offline retail stores are strong. Grocery and food marts will continue to provide a convenient pick-up option over unseen produce that ordering them online brings.
It is likely that players like Walmart and Target will not have as many sales once the economy reopens. This may result in them laying off the many workers they are hiring now.
All this hits back at manufacturing sectors since orders get canceled when there is lowered demand, creating a vicious cycle of people not having enough money to buy from these establishments and further dropping demand. The government is attempting to keep up some spending by providing UI benefits and direct payments.
If you are a retail worker with uncertainty looming over you such as a pay cut or a furlough, then make sure you can file an unemployment claim right away. Some companies may have to provide paid leave so avail that if you or a family member needs to self-isolate.
Yes, you read that right. We are all well aware of the importance of healthcare professionals at this crucial time. We read about the admirable efforts of frontline doctors, nurses, administrative staff, etc in handling the burden of patients. They are out there risking their health for our benefit.
And yet, The Employment Situation tells us that 43,000 jobs disappeared. How did the Coronavirus pandemic cause unemployment in Health Care Services? At the same time, the news also reports a shortage of healthcare professionals. What is happening? We will find out in this post.
Let’s begin by glancing at the sector during normal times when the economy is up and running. How were things before COVID-19 hit?
Overview of Health Care Services Sector
The sector employed an estimated 19.1 million people in 2018, considering the social assistance sector as well, which is closely linked in its function. The top 3 roles employing a maximum number of people are registered nurses, nursing assistants, and personal care aides. Physicians are the 5th largest role.
Work in this sector is mentally and physically demanding with people working an average of 35 hours per week. Employees earn an average of $28.30 per hour, though there is much variation with the role.
Impact of COVID-19
Despite the US being one of the top countries in medical spending, the surge in COVID-19 cases has stretched the healthcare system thin. Reports of shortages of masks, ventilators, beds, and other protective and emergency equipment are rife.
Due to lockdowns and stay-at-home orders in most states, job losses have taken place in dentists’ offices, physicians and other healthcare practitioners. The widespread unemployment in other sectors has blown back upon dentists, dermatologists, chiropractors, etc. whose services aren’t seen as a grave necessity in times requiring high savings. The medical assistance staff in such places also get furloughed.
Since elective surgeries have been put on hold, the associated staff have been furloughed. Hospitals have been compelled to send staff home and cut physicians’ pay because they haven’t the funds to deal with the pandemic. The CARES act funds are yet to arrive at the time this post is being written.
Caregiving staff cannot work due to the stay-at-home orders. The trickle-down effect of employment across the economy means that people may not be able to afford specialized care, either.
Jobs Still Hiring in Health Care Services
Some health care institutions like hospitals may be open to hiring administrative positions, janitorial staff, etc. States have expressed a need to recall retired nurses owing to the shortage due to the disease burden. Some of those skills are transferable to the pharma sector which may be interested in recruiting given the acceleration of drug testing.
Future Prospects For Health Care Services (And Social Assistance)
The under-preparation demonstrated by the healthcare system has shone a light upon the deficiencies of the sector. The US has been criticized for underspending on public health care.
Considering the onslaught of climate change, it will be necessary to prepare for future public health emergencies like this one. Many people will be displaced and suffer from diseases in the future as weather extremes like heat waves and sea-level rise are predicted.
It is likely that this sector will recover very quickly when the economy runs at full strength again. There is a push to increase testing capacity and human capital in health care supporting companies including the pharma sector. This could lead to new job opportunities.
The pandemic has underscored the necessity for data collection and analyses, so there should be opportunities especially for graduates who can pick up these skills. Mental health awareness is only rising and perhaps the pandemic will end with the need to address traumas caused by it.
With the increase in the geriatric population, there should be scope for those having and willing to acquire geriatric care and social assistance skills. Also, social workers, community outreach workers, etc. have important roles to play in harmonious living and should quickly recover once stay-at-home orders lift.