A total of 855 Carroll countians filed for unemployment in the week ending April 25, according to the Maryland Department of Labor, a continuation of the high levels seen during the coronavirus pandemic despite another week-over-week decline.
During that week, 810 people applied online, 43 applied via phone and two applied via paper, the data show. That’s down from the 1,069 people who applied in the week ending April 18.
A total of 1,423 people filed for unemployment the week ending April 11, and 2,979 filed the week ending April 4. Carroll saw 2,685 claims for unemployment insurance in the week that ended March 28, more than double the previous week’s 1,158 claims. A fraction of that total, 31 Carroll countians, filed unemployment insurance claims the first week of March.
The pandemic of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has forced businesses to close and companies to furlough or lay-off employees while measures have been put in place to limit the spread of the virus.
Maryland reported 37,225 claims for jobless benefits statewide in the week that ended April 25, about 10,000 fewer than a week earlier and one-third of the level during the week that ended April 4. Before the pandemic hit, the state was receiving about 2,000 claims for unemployment benefits a week.
The Maryland Department of Labor on Friday launched a new website to process claims, also for the first time making self-employed “gig economy” workers to file for unemployment benefits, which in this state range from $50 to $430 a week. But the website repeatedly crashed and is undergoing nightly maintenance.
Nationally, more than 30 million people have now filed for unemployment during the coronavirus pandemic.
Denise Rickell, manager at the Carroll County Business/Employment Resource Center, or BERC, has said that many people applying for unemployment are expecting to return to their previous employer when businesses re-open. BERC closed its in-person offices, but staff have been returning phone calls and offering information through BERC’s website, carrollworks.com, and Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CCBERC.
Residents who typically work full time or part time are eligible for unemployment. A list of frequently asked questions about COVID-19 and Maryland’s Unemployment Insurance Benefits Administration is available at http://labor.maryland.gov/employment/uicovidfaqs.shtml.
Baltimore Sun reporter Scott Dance contributed to this article.