Gov. Baker signs emergency legislation as unemployment numbers spike

BOSTON (WHDH) - Tens of thousands of people filed for unemployment benefits Monday — the sudden spike all due to the coronavirus outbreak.

On Wednesday, Gov. Charlie Baker signed emergency legislation in response to the thousands of workers left without jobs after hundreds of businesses close up shop in an effort to stop the spread of the virus.

“Our administration is now revving up operations to make sure we can respond to the significant spike in unemployment claims,” Baker announced.

According to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, the state received almost 20,000 unemployment claims in just one day.

Those claims came pouring in on Monday, a day after Baker announced that all restaurants and bars would only be open for takeout and delivery.

Baker said the new legislation will waive the one week waiting period for benefits, allowing unemployment claims to be paid out faster.

“This important will ensure that we can get much-needed unemployment assistance to workers impacted by Covid-19,” Baker explained.

The Labor Department is now deploying additional employees to work on the large volume of claims, according to Governor Baker.

The state has also launched a new website that includes the latest guidance for employee qualifications and information.

Officials say the fastest way to file for benefits is online.

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