In light of the recent global health crisis, many businesses are tightening their belts while others are, sadly, closing up shop altogether. As of the beginning of June, nearly 40 million Americans filed for unemployment. Closer to home, the Boston Herald reports that 1 in 4 people in Massachusetts are unemployed due to the coronavirus pandemic. These numbers, while staggering, mean a cascading group of issues will follow in regard to the economy and job market in the Bay State.
The labor market news may seem bleak, especially in recent weeks, but the rebound as companies begin to reopen is a potential positive sign of what is to come in the next few months. If businesses and residents continue to follow safety guidelines given by the state and local governments about safe ways to reopen the economy, we will continue to see more and more small and medium-sized businesses get back to work.
Roughly 950,000 people in Massachusetts have filed unemployment claims since March 15, 202. This is putting an “unprecedented” strain on resources as the state pays out hundreds of hundreds of millions in jobless benefits weekly. As reported in the Herald, “The state unemployment fund had $748 million as of April 16, according to the U.S. Treasury data, enough to cover about two weeks of unemployment benefits.”
Greg Sullivan of the Pioneer Institute, a Boston think-tank that has been tracking unemployment data, said that, despite the low funds, “there’s virtually no risk of the state running out of money for people collecting on unemployment.”
Accessing Labor Market Information
It is in the best interest of businesses and business leaders across Massachusetts to continually evaluate the labor market. Following the unemployment numbers as well as the federal and state assistance programs being rolled out during this time is crucial. As the state and federal legislatures continue to hash out potential stimulus plans that can help both individuals and small-to-medium-sized businesses, it is paramount to stay on top of developing news.
One resource that can help businesses do this is the Mass.gov site that updates potential legislation, access to unemployment numbers, job listings, and statistics that can be extremely helpful in making critical business decisions going forward.
In addition to the resources mentioned above we suggest checking in with our Career Center site for job seekers and the Workforce Board for employers to stay up-to-date on events surrounding the economic fallout due to the coronavirus. Check out our resources pages at North Shore Career Center and MassHire North Shore.