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Coronavirus Job Losses: These Massachusetts Industries Have The Most Unemployment Claims

BOSTON (CBS) -- Another 102,828 people in Massachusetts filed initial unemployment claims last week. New data released by the state shows which industries have been hit hardest since the coronavirus pandemic took hold of the region.

In total there have been 571,304 initial unemployment claims filed since March 15. Workers in the food and accommodation industry accounted for 17.5% of those claims, followed by retail trade at 12.4%.

Health and social assistance is the industry with the third-highest filings of initial claims in the past week at 12,597. Construction is another field hit hard by restrictions on non-essential business, a pie chart from the state shows.

Unemployment claims by industry (Image credit: Mass.Gov)

Last week's filings represent a decrease of 26% from the previous week, but the Office of Labor and Workforce Development notes that most workers who have been laid off as a result of coronavirus closures have already filed claims.

Nearly 315,000 Massachusetts claimants received unemployment compensation last week, the state said.

Gov. Charlie Baker called the numbers "eye-popping," given that before the pandemic Massachusetts was typically seeing between 7,000 and 10,000 new claims a week.

"This is about way more than numbers," he said. "We all get the fact that there are people behind those claims, their families who suddenly face economic anxiety after losing a job through no fault of their own. And it's a situation we take extremely seriously."

Last week, Baker said those who are not traditionally in the unemployment system like self-employed workers, consultants who get 1099 forms and "gig economy" employees should be able to file claims by the end of the month.



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