The coronavirus unemployment numbers in perspective
Over the past two weeks, 10 million Americans have filed for unemployment, with millions more to come.
Why it matters: The jobless hits right now are like a natural disaster hitting every state at the same time.
- But those affected could find safety and aid outside the disaster area, and America's economy barely experienced a blip.
The big picture: In America, losing your job isn't just losing a paycheck — for many, it also means losing your health insurance.
- About 3.5 million Americans have likely lost their health insurance because of job loss in the last two weeks, Axios' Bob Herman reported, citing the Economic Policy Institute.
- Medicaid will serve as the major backstop, but its ballooning usage will strain state budgets. It also won't be a primary option for residents of the 14 states that didn't expand the program under the Affordable Care Act, and those people instead will hope to qualify for low-cost ACA plans, Bob notes.
The bottom line: The crush of applications is so bad that some states aren't able to keep up.
- Florida's "unemployment website is essentially broken, dogged by longstanding glitches and a crush of people thrown out of work because of the coronavirus," the Tampa Bay Times reports.
- "[T]he office received 1.5 million calls in the last week, with a third of them coming from Floridians looking to reset their PIN numbers. The PINs are required to log in to the site."
- The program's director apologized today and said the department will revert to paper applications.