Data released yesterday adds an additional 1-million new unemployment claims in Massachusetts since mid-March.  The week ending June 13th, the state processed 30,156 new claims.  That was a drop from the prior week.  However, still historic levels of over 570,000 residents receiving benefits.  According to a report on Mass.Live.com, that equals 16% of all eligible employees in Mass and almost seven times average levels of the last 20 years.

Prior to the pandemic outbreak, the peak number of Mass Residents receiving benefits was 183,461 recorded in 2009.  That was 2% of the workforce out of work according to the MassLive.com post.

Restaurants, bars, retail stores, and locally owned businesses across the state were forced to layoff or furlough employees due to the stay-at-home advisory ordered by Mass Governor Charlie Baker in March.  The massive shutdown started the surge in unemployment claims in the state.

Over 1.5-million filed for unemployment last week across the country according to the U.S. Department of Labor.  Three quarters of the American workforce is on the job with a staggering quarter of the workforce currently unemployed.

If you need assistance in filing a claim you can call 877-636-6800 or you can apply for benefits online through the Mass.Gov website.

WUPE, WBEC-AM, WBEC-FM, WNAW and WSBS will be launching a Virtual Job Fair in July.  It will give listeners that are unemployed or under-employed an opportunity to virtually connect with business' through the Berkshires.

Each station will be talking to business representatives on the air in order to give job seekers additional information about the positions available and the qualifications needed.

Additional information of the Virtual Job Fair will be announced soon.