Washington Post

As layoffs skyrocket, America's unemployment safety net is underprepared to help many in need

Veteran Sean McGuire was laid off Monday from his job as a dishwasher at a restaurant in Portland, Ore. He spent hours trying to apply for unemployment insurance, only to learn that he does not qualify. Foto: Leah Nash

U.S. workers are getting laid off at an unprecedented pace as the coronavirus outbreak shuts down much of the economy, and the government safety net to help the newly jobless appears ill-equipped to handle the surge in the unemployed.

More than a million workers are expected to lose their jobs by the end of March, economists say, a dramatic turnaround from February, when the unemployment rate was near a record low. Ball State University economist Michael Hicks predicts this month could be the worst for layoffs in U.S. history...

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