NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development recorded a landmark spike in unemployment claims in one week during the spread of the coronavirus.
According to a release from the department, Tennesseans filed 39,096 unemployment claims for the week ending March 21.
2,702 unemployment claims were filed the week before.
TDLWD reports those numbers represent a nearly 20-fold increase in week-to-week claims.
Across the country, more than 3 million Americans have filed for unemployment.
In light of the spike in unemployment, TDLWD says they will designate almost a third of the department to providing customer service and processing new claims.
TDLWD says they are expanding capacity and exploring methods to increase the workforce to address the issue.
The release says the maximum weekly unemployment benefit is $275 in the state before federal taxes are deducted.
Governor Bill Lee temporarily suspended the one-week waiting period for unemployment benefits in Executive Order 15.
TDLWD will release new unemployment claims data on April 2.