Tennessee unemployment claims soar as businesses close during coronavirus outbreak

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee is experiencing an unprecedented spike in new initial unemployment claims, according to data released this morning by this U.S. Department of Labor.

For the week ending March 21, Tennesseans filed 39,096 initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits.

The week prior, the state received 2,702 new unemployment claims.

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The latest figure represents a nearly 20-fold increase in week-to-week claims.

Week ending March 21, 2020, at a glance:

  • New: 39,096
  • Last week: 2,702
  • Difference: 36,394

Last week, 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

This was the biggest jump in new jobless claims in history, surpassing the record of 695,000 set in 1982.

The maximum weekly unemployment benefit in Tennessee is $275 before the deduction of federal taxes. Claimants receive this benefit through a debit card or direct deposit to a bank account.

Currently, the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development (TDLWD) is processing these claims as quickly as possible to determine eligibility and distribute benefit payments.

The state will release the latest new unemployment claims data each Thursday at 8:30 a.m. CT beginning Thursday, April 2.