NC sees unemployment claims jump to 166,172


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Unemployment claims keep coming in across North Carolina as the COVID-19 pandemic causes more businesses to close.

From March 16 to March 25 at 8 a.m., the state processed 166,172 claims.

The number of claims was 145,237 on Tuesday.

Approximately 87 percent of those claims are coronavirus-related, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

The number of COVID-19-related claims could be higher, the Department said. It is up to the person filing the claim to list the disease as the reason behind their unemployment.

In the early days of the pandemic in North Carolina, Sen. Phil Berger said the state had $3.9 billion set aside for unemployment insurance.

On March 17, Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order than in part expanded unemployment benefits.

Those changes included:

  • No one-week waiting period
  • Removes the requirement to look for another job
  • Allows employees whose hours have cut to apply for unemployment
  • Allows citizens to apply for benefits remotely
  • Employers will not be held responsible for claims during outbreak

North Carolina has two coronavirus-related deaths as of Wednesday morning with the total number of cases sitting at 504.

COVID-19 timeline

  • March 3: NCDHHS announces state’s first COVID-19 case
  • March 10: Gov. Roy Cooper declares State of Emergency
  • March 11: World Health Organization declares COVID-19 a pandemic
  • March 13: President Donald Trump declares a National Emergency
  • March 14: Cooper issues Executive Order 117 closing K-12 public schools until at least March 30 and banning gatherings of more than 100 people
  • March 16: NCDHHS recommends no mass gatherings for more than 50 people
  • March 17: Cooper issues Executive Order 118 limiting operations of restaurants and bars, and broadening unemployment insurance benefits
  • March 23: Cooper issues Executive Order 120 which closes public K-12 schools through May 15 and orders businesses such as barbershops and salons to close.
  • March 25: North Carolina reports its first coronavirus-related deaths
  • March 29: Trump extends social distancing orders through the end of April
  • March 31: Cooper signs Executive Order 124 which prohibits utilities from disconnecting people who are unable to pay during the pandemic.
  • April 7: Cooper will sign executive orders limiting customers in retailers and offers child care assistance to certain workers
  • April 14: Coronavirus-related deaths top 100 in North Carolina
  • April 24: Cooper extends stay-at-home order to May 8
  • May 5: Cooper announces Phase One of reopening will being May 8

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