INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — More than 133,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment in Indiana last week as the coronavirus pandemic kept businesses closed and workers furloughed.
The 133,639 Hoosiers who sought jobless benefits during the week ending April 4 was down slightly from the 139,174 who filed the previous week, according to U.S. Department of Labor numbers. Indiana had received fewer than 2,600 claims just three weeks ago.
New U.S. claims totaled 6.6 million last week, which was a dip of 3.8% from the previous week, the Labor Department said.
Congress’ $2.2 trillion pandemic relief package includes an extra $600 a week in unemployment benefits on top of the usual state payments.
Indiana residents who have filed for unemployment should begin receiving that extra $600 payment as early as April 20, retroactive to March 29, said Fred Payne, commissioner of the state Department of Workforce Development.
He said Thursday that the state agency is continuing to receive a “high volume” of calls from people trying to make unemployment claims during the pandemic and technology difficulties have slowed that process, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.
Payne said the department is now working with a new contractor to process claims.