More than 643,000 new unemployment claims filed in Tennessee since March 15

More than 643,000 new unemployment claims filed in Tennessee since March 15
TN unemployment, June 4 (Source: Tenn. Dept. of Labor and Workforce)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A new report from the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce shows there have been 643,799 new unemployment claims filed in Tennessee since March 15, 2020.

Tennessee reports 294,363 claims have been paid and the payments totaled to $298,597,211. Here’s how it is broken down:

  • Total Claims Paid -- 294,363
  • Total Payments -- $298,597,211
  • TN Payments -- $0*
  • Federal Payments -- $298,597,211

*TUC payments paid through federal CARES Act Funding

In an exclusive interview, The Investigators asked the person in charge of Tennessee’s unemployment system if he believes more could have been done to adequately handle the historic amount of layoffs.

“It can always be simpler,” said Department of Labor Commissioner Jeff McCord. “I think what happened is that it’s not just the magnitude of what’s happened, it’s the suddenness of what’s happened as well.”

TN Dept. of Labor says federal guidance for unemployment could have been more ‘clear’, ‘timely’

Recent data entered from the week of June 20 totaled 21,155. Which showed a slight increase in the number of claims reported since the week before.

Statewide unemployment data
Statewide unemployment data (Source: Tenn. Dept. of Labor and Workforce)
  • New Claims Filed: The number of individuals filing new unemployment claims for the week.
  • Continued Claims: The number of claims continued with weekly certifications.

In Shelby County, there are 52,099 continued week claims and 5,545 initial claims. Click here for the data broken down by region in Tennessee for the week ending on June 20.

Some employees have told their employers they don’t feel safe returning to work, while others say they’re making more money collecting unemployment.

The WMC Action News 5 Investigators received copies of some of those complaints, which were filed with the state by various employers.

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