Labor Department urges ‘patience’ for those seeking unemployment claims

Coronavirus

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — With Tennessee unemployment claims setting another dramatic record last week, the agency processing the claims urges ‘patience’ for those seeking help.

“We just ask for folks patience because no one has ever seen a spike like this,” says Tennessee Labor and Workforce Development spokesperson Chris Cannon.

That spike announced Thursday went from around 2,700 claims for the week ending March 14th to more than 37,000 claims for the week ending March 21 and now to almost 95,000 claims for March 22 through March 28.

“We paid out last week millions and millions more than we typically do in unemployment benefits. So the system is busy,” added the labor department spokesperson, “The system is taking a lot of claims but it is working.”

Earlier in the week, the labor department had indicated on its website that those trying to log on Sunday should try again Monday or Tuesday.

The department’s website at JOBS4TN.GOV aims to help those unemployed find jobs and to file their claims.

The hardest hit area of Tennessee’s economy is its hospitality industry.

The entertainment districts of the state’s largest towns Nashville and Memphis are almost deserted with with bars, restaurants and hotels closed in mid-March by local orders leaving thousands out of work.

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

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