BOSTON (CBS) — The latest numbers show another 38,000 people filed initial unemployment claims in Massachusetts last week. That’s down from about 45,000 claims in the previous week.
Massachusetts has seen nearly 860,000 unemployment claims as the coronavirus takes its toll on the economy.
Nationwide, about 2.2 million people filed for unemployment, marking about 40 million job losses since the pandemic began.
“I’m keeping an open mind, but to be 100% honest, no I don’t think it’s the brightest future for people my age, like 25 and younger where we just graduated college,” Andrew Reno, who is unemployed, said.
Massachusetts is also one of the states that has set up a system for people to access Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, a program for the self-employed and “gig economy” workers who are not traditionally covered by unemployment system. The state saw about 116,000 claims for that program in the past week.
“By and large, Wall Street thinks the worst is now behind us,” said Steve Dimitriou, of Mayflower Advisors. “But I think what’s not being factored in is the impact on Main Street.
The state also announced Thursday that residents who have exhausted their regular unemployment compensation can now receive up to 13 weeks of additional benefits under the CARES Act.
“We had all these jobs evaporate in the course of a month of two, and I think we’ve never seen anything like this,” said Erik Yingling, who is recently unemployed.
The industries in Massachusetts hit hardest by the virus are food and accommodation, retail and trade, and healthcare and social assistance, according to state figures.
“The new normal includes much more virtual workforces, much less business travel, and those are the things that impact your local businesses,” Dimitriou said.
Learn more about applying for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts here.