unemployment

‘Nerve-Racking’: Unemployment Continues to Worsen in Massachusetts

NBC Universal, Inc.

Unemployment is wreaking havoc across the U.S. as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and Massachusetts is no exception.

It was March 19 when Ally Rosin, a physical therapist, got the call from her employer with the bad news.

"They basically said they're going to be laying off everyone on Friday," she said.

So the 27-year-old Boston resident did what 22 million other Americans have had to do this past month.

"I never thought I'd be filing for unemployment, which is crazy," she said.

The latest state jobless numbers show 103,000 new claims this week, combined with the 468,000 over the past month for a state total of about 571,000.

Alan Bagley with the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation says the organization predicts an ultimate 18% unemployment rate in the Bay State. Bagley says the expected V-shaped recovery now looks more like a W with damage from the virus — like job losses — worse than initially thought.

"The criteria to re-open would require an awful lot of testing and contact tracing, neither of which we are very far along on," he said. "So those things are kind of troubling."

Filing for unemployment wasn't the easiest thing for Rosin.

"When I wasn't getting it for like three weeks, it was very nerve-racking," she said.

But with checks now coming in, she just hopes the virus is contained soon so she can get back to work.

"A lot of physical therapists are extroverts, so this time in general has been weird in not seeing a lot of people," Rosin said.

Bagley predicts even if the economy has a robust return, it will probably be a year or two before Massachusetts recovers all the jobs that have been lost.

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