Unemployment claims in Louisiana soar from average $2.5 million to $20 million this week

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Visitors to the Department of Labor are turned away at the door by personnel due to closures over coronavirus concerns, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, in New York. Applications for jobless benefits are surging in some states as coronavirus concerns shake the U.S. economy. The sharp increase comes as governments have ordered millions of workers, students and shoppers to stay home as a precaution against spreading the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

BATON ROUGE, La. (WDSU)—

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards spoke about the dramatic increase in unemployment claims in the state since the COVID-19 health crisis took hold.

The governor said Louisiana normally averages $2.5 million in unemployment payments for an entire week. Edwards said the state has paid out $20 million in claims as of Wednesday.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported in March that more than 70,000 Louisianians had applied for unemployment benefits as the economic shutdown from the COVID-19 health crisis took hold across the nation. The same report found that nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits.

Edwards said the Louisiana Workforce Commission has increased its staff to handle the workload from residents applying for unemployment benefits.

By WDSU Digital Team

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