As jobless claims soar, employment agency workers demand greater assistance


Lee Saunders, AFSCME President
In the middle of the biggest peak in unemployment claims in US history, employment agency workers are working overtime to help struggling Americans despite years of short-sighted cuts, lack of technological improvements and understaffing

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, April 9, public service workers on the front lines of responding to the nation’s growing economic crisis will provide a first-hand account of the historic volumes of unemployment insurance claims they are processing.

Soaring COVID-19 claims have revealed how years of budget cuts and short-sighted staffing in public services are now hurting out-of-work Americans in desperate need of economic relief.

To respond to the loss of more than 10 million jobs in the past two weeks alone, civil service workers are working longer hours, including weekends. Other department employees also step in to help.

Since many states lack the technological infrastructure to telecommute, many of these workers are also risking their health and safety to get to the office every day.

AFSCME President Lee Saunders and SEIU President Mary Kay Henry will join Thursday’s call to urge Congress to reverse years of dangerous austerity cuts and provide adequate funding in a fourth stimulus package for states and localities to continue providing essential services.

Economic Policy Institute President Thea Lee will provide timely analysis of the economic impact of state and local budgets amid the public health crisis and outline steps to shore up state and local government finances. States and local communities.


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