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US unemployment rate hits quarantine high

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The U.S. is hitting unemployment levels it hasn’t seen since the Great Depression.

Here in Indiana, more than 600,000 people have filed for unemployment in the last seven weeks. As more businesses open up, but the unemployment rates continue to rise, some say the struggles are just going to get harder as bills and rent need paid.

Many businesses remain closed, but little by little, places are beginning to open back up. The recent openings are considered nonessential, but one business owner, personal trainer Andre Crayton, is frustrated by what’s been allowed to remain open and be categorized as essential.

“I think they really needed to clarify the word essential because I don’t consider taking out fast food an essential business,” Crayton said.

Crayton has been out of work, as his business isn’t considered essential. But the struggle to return to work isn’t just one for Crayton. Throughout the United States, millions of people are filing for help as the unemployment rate hits a quarantine high of 14.7%. Looking at Indiana, the quarantine unemployment rate hasn’t been released, but there are still hundreds of thousand of people asking for help. And many people are not getting an answer from the unemployment office.

“We don’t have the resources now, and people are getting denied and all kind of red tape is being flagged for people to not be able to get assistance,” Crayton said.

Even though some places are reopening, the quarantine isn’t over. When it is, some people who didn’t get to return to work so quickly, and others who couldn’t get financial help during their unemployment, may face worse consequences in the coming months.

“You’re dealing with the haves and the have-nots,” Crayton said. “The haves don’t have nothing to worry about. The have-nots are the ones that are struggling. Wondering how the next bill’s going to be paid, wondering if their lights are going to get shut off. Wondering if they’re going to get an eviction notice. And then once this stuff is lifted, how many people are going to be flooding into the court systems because all of a sudden, the devil is asking for his due?”

With businesses slowly opening up this week, we should see unemployment numbers reflect that change sometime next week.