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Report: 25% of Ky. workforce out of jobs amid COVID-19 pandemic

In a report released Friday, the state’s unemployment rate jumped from 2.8 percent in...
In a report released Friday, the state’s unemployment rate jumped from 2.8 percent in February to 4.3 percent in March. (MGN Photo - Julie Chasen / MGN)(WJHG)
Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 12:54 PM EDT
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Nearly four million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, according to

by the U.S. Department of Labor. That includes nearly 91,000 new unemployment claims from Kentucky.

Nationwide,

amid the coronavirus pandemic. In Kentucky, more than half a million workers have filed for unemployment as the economic toll has become evident from efforts to fight COVID-19.

Here is a look at the total number of initial unemployment claims filed in Kentucky, according to numbers provided by the

, since the COVID-19 pandemic hit here in mid-March:

  • Week ending March 14: 2,785 (This was the last “normal” week before the dramatic rise in claims began as shut down orders went into effect.)
  • Week ending March 21: 49,023
  • Week ending March 28: 113,149
  • Week ending April 4: 117,575
  • Week ending April 11: 116,277
  • Week ending April 18: 103,981
  • Week ending April 25: 90,824
Total number of initial unemployment claims filed in Kentucky between March 15 and April 25: 590,829

As a result, many who have applied for unemployment benefits have

in getting processed or receiving payments.

Even the

, which was intended to help those who have struggled to get through to operators, was marred by technical glitches.

State leaders have chalked up the challenges to the raw volume of claims.

"It's a task that no state has ever faced," Gov. Andy Beshear has said, "but we've got to rise up and be able to do it."

Earlier this week Gov. Beshear pledged that anyone with unresolved unemployment claims from March would have their claim processed by the end of the week.

The governor said that 150,000 of those claims were processed on Sunday, leaving 37,000 remaining by Tuesday. On Wednesday that number was down to 29,000, Gov. Beshear said. Many of those remaining have identity verification issues, he said.

Unsurprisingly, estimates show that, moving forward, the high number of unemployed will likely have an impact on economic recovery.

Kentucky's

says a quarter of the state's workforce is currently out of a job.

The state expects its revenue to drop amid a projected recession, leading to a potential General Fund revenue shortfall of $318.7 to $495.7 million.