More than 690,000 new unemployment claims filed in Tennessee since March 15

More than 690,000 new unemployment claims filed in Tennessee since March 15
Unemployment claims by region in Tennessee, July 2 (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 691,898 new unemployment claims filed in Tennessee since March 15, 2020.

Tennessee reports 275,421 claims have been paid and the payments totaled to $260,779,300. Here’s how it is broken down:

  • Total Claims Paid -- 275,421
  • Total Payments -- $260,779,300
  • TN Payments -- $0*
  • Federal Payments -- $260,779,300

*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 July 4 totaled 25,843. Which showed a slight increase in the number of claims reported since the week before.

Tenn. unemployment claims
Tenn. unemployment claims (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 53,703 continued week claims and 6,199 initial claims. Click here for the data broken down by region in Tennessee for the week ending on July 4.

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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