WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia issued the following statement regarding unemployment insurance claims:

“Unemployment claims are increasing due to shutdowns and other responses to rising coronavirus cases, and likely due in part to enhanced unemployment benefits. California and New York continue to exhibit particularly high unemployment rates, with the nation’s two highest rates of continuing claims. 

“December’s jobs report showed most recent job losses to be temporary rather than permanent, with employment increasing in many job sectors.  Vaccine distribution should facilitate another surge in employment in 2-3 months. Safety protocols remain critical, as does attention to the costs of excessive shutdown strategies.”

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