AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)- The Department of Labor recently reported about 4,500 total unemployment claims for the month of March across the two-state.
From graduating students, to employees getting back on their feet, the coronavirus impact is hitting hard.
NewsChannel 6 breaks it all down.
Out of the top three industries to have the highest unemployment rate, food service and accomodations rank firs with revenue dropping about 70%. Health Care workers have the second highest claims, and retail falling in third place.
274 unemployment claims is what the Department of Labor’s numbers are for the first reported week of March 7th.
Fast forward 21 days, that number sky rocketed to 3,759 claims.
CEO and President of Columbia County’s Chamber of Commerce, Tammy Shepherd, says, “unfortunately, we will see some closures from what’s going on right now, but, hopefully, people have enough of a deep pocket just to weather the storm.”
Shepherd, recommends to take advantage of federal benefits like Payroll Protection Plans and Emergency Disaster Relief funds.
She says there could be a silver lining in claiming unemployment.
“It could be a win win right now for the employer and the employee just from a safety perspective and again financially. The employer is protecting their assets, and, yet, still protecting their employee by laying them off financially and also by not having them do work that could jeopardize their company,” says Shepherd.
As for the newcomers in the career field, those graduating might find it tough to follow their dreams with unemployment at an all time high. Shepherd encourages them to look at their options.
“No matter what your skill set education is, you need to be flexible,” says Shepherd. “You need to do your homework, but you need to be flexible. Always keep that goal in mind, but be patient. Nobody became a CEO overnight.”
Shepherd recommends for students to look do whatever they can to get their foot in the door and look for jobs in high demand.
Those jobs in high demand with the least unemployment rate right now are those in agriculture, mining, and utilities. All three of those industries most recently reported unemployment claim was one.