State figures: Initial unemployment claims skyrocket as coronavirus outbreak escalates in Arizona

New numbers of unemployment claims are painting a rather grim picture of Arizona's labor market during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

According to figures released by the Arizona Department of Economic Security, there were 29,333 initial unemployment claims on the week of March 21, and on the week of March 28, there were 88,592 initial claims.

On the week of March 14, there were over 3,600 initial claims, according to the numbers.

The grand total of unemployment filings since restrictions started is now over 117,000, which is equivalent to a 4% rise in the state's unemployment rate.

In February, the state's unemployment rate was 4.5%, according to figures from the United States Department of Labor.

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Additional Resources

Department of Economic Security (DES) Services Related to COVID-19 (In Spanish/En Español)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) - How it spreads, symptoms, prevention, treatment, FAQ (In Spanish/En Español)

Arizona COVID-19 Response - Public resources, FAQ, webinars (In Spanish/En Español)

In order to protect yourself from a possible infection, the CDC recommends: 

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.

Stay home when you are sick.

Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.