Coronavirus: Unemployment numbers surge in Delaware Valley, data shows

WESTMONT, New Jersey (WPVI) -- New data released on Thursday shows unemployment numbers in the nation soared to nearly 3.3 million amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Action News' data journalism team analyzed the data in our region and found that Delaware broke a 30-year record -- roughly 10,720 new claims were reported there.

Pennsylvania is also seeing a historic surge: 378,908 new unemployment claims were filed since March 16.

In New Jersey, about 155,454 new claims were filed, which has made for a difficult time for many people, including those who rely on tips more than their salary.

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"I'm a little scared," said Connor McNanee. "Figure hopefully it will get better soon, and I better have saved enough to get through it."

McNanee said he is out of a job as a cook, at Brewers Towne Tavern in Westmont, New Jersey.

"You just have to watch your pennies, and your dimes, and spend it wisely," said McNanee.

Many around New Jersey are applying for unemployment, like Erica Matthias, who said it was a lengthy process given the high number of people applying.
"Unemployment, every time you try to log on you get kicked off," said Matthias. "You can't really get through to anything or anyone, because obviously there are so many people who are out of a job right now, so you pray that your money comes through."

This was Matthias' first time applying for unemployment. She was recently laid off from her bartending job, at P.J. Whelihan's Pub and Restaurant.

"You don't go to work and think you're not going to have a job that day," said Matthias.

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Now she said she has to budget her life differently after being approved for unemployment because she's not collecting as much money from unemployment as she would normally make working.

"In reality, it's so much less than our actual income," said Matthias.

Matthias said she received a notification that said it could take up to 14 days before she found out if she was eligible for benefits. She also recommends using a computer because she said she initially tried to apply on her phone but was having a hard time applying that way.
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