In response to the Department of Labor’s weekly unemployment claim statistic released today, revealing that 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week, Congresswoman Moore released the following statement:
“The two-week number of unemployment claims now stands at approximately 10 million, which puts the two-week job loss on scale with an entire two years of the Great Recession. This health and economic crisis demands sustained and coordinated action. Congress has taken several important legislative steps to mitigate both the health and economic consequences of COVID-19 pandemic, but it has become increasingly clear that additional congressional action is necessary quickly to address the impact on our workers and families.
This sobering statistic, which likely still understates the number of newly unemployed worker, is why I am diligently working with my House colleagues to craft additional legislation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I am focused on providing more people with access to free testing and affordable treatment while supporting Americans’ ability to be socially responsible by practicing social distancing and staying home. As we ask millions of Americans to stay home, workers will need greater financial assistance to meet living expenses, especially our hourly and service workers.
This crisis is a stark reminder of how interconnected and vulnerable our society is, especially concerning our physical and financial health. But even though we are susceptible to COVID-19, the poverty and inequality baked into our society are exacerbating the crisis because of health disparities – low income individuals and families suffer from higher rates of chronic health conditions and the virus is much deadlier to people with underlying health conditions. And, the virus is exacerbating inequity! People living paycheck to paycheck are at risk of falling even further behind.
As people struggle, we must remember these are our family members, our friends, our neighbors and they deserve our help through this time. While the number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance in the last two weeks exposes us to the tremendous challenges that remain ahead, I know we will come together and our country will emerge stronger.”