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Georgia has issued $1.7 billion in unemployment benefits since mid-March
Georgia Department of Labor
The Georgia Department of Labor offers state residents the opportunity to apply for unemployment benefits when in need. - photo by Sabrina Kerns

The Georgia Department of Labor announced Thursday, May 7, that it has issued over $1.7 billion in state and federal unemployment benefits in the past seven weeks.

Since the week ending March 21, the department has processed almost 1.6 million initial unemployment claims. Of those claims, 778,330 were “valid with enough earned wages to receive benefits,” according to a statement, and about 66% of those with valid claims have received their first payment.

Last week, the Department of Labor processed 228,352 claims, and 75% of those complaints were employer-filed. The number of initial unemployment claims filed nationwide was 3.1 million last week, a decrease of 677,000 from the previous week, according to the department.

Industries with the most unemployment claims have included accommodation and food services, health care and social assistance, retail, administrative and support services, and manufacturing.

As of May 2, the Georgia Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund Balance was about $2 billion, up $34 million from the previous week’s balance. The increase was due to tax revenue collections of $165 million deposited on April 30 exceeding the benefit payments for the week, according to the Department of Labor.

People who are self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of nonprofits, or those with limited work history could be eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance if their unemployment claims were invalid or denied. As of last week, 83,583 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance applications were processed and are eligible for payment, according to the Department of Labor. 

The Department of Labor has a website with job listings. People can also file unemployment claims on the department’s website.

See the original story from the Gainesville Times here.