Alabama unemployment claims skyrocket amid pandemic

Coronavirus

A board displays the Williams family’s schedule as the children work on projects at home Friday, March 20, 2020 in Decatur, Ala. Emily Williams, their mother, is a third grade teacher at Austinville Elementary. (Dan Busey/The Decatur Daily via AP)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Thousands of Alabamians are filing for unemployment benefits as the coronavirus pandemic causes workplaces to temporarily close or reduce operations.

The Alabama Department of Labor said nearly 17,000 people filed unemployment claims over two days.

Most of the claims were listed as related to the COVID-19 outbreak. Most were from the hospitality industry.

Alabama and other states have mandated closures to try to curb the spread of the coronavirus and avoid overwhelming hospitals. More than 283 cases of the illness have confirmed in the state, with the greatest number around Birmingham.

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