Indiana's unemployment numbers surging due to COVID-19

Chris Clark.JPG
Posted at 10:00 PM, Mar 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-25 22:00:37-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of Hoosiers are without jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment numbers are rising and are expected to continue to climb as only essential jobs are allowed to continue working.

A year ago the numbers told a different story when it came to unemployment in Indiana. Only 3,100 people filed for unemployment benefits this same week a year ago.

"It's one of the situations where you really see how big a population is," Chris Clark said. "I am a part of a few bartending and service industry pages on Facebook and it's all that anyone is talking about."

Seemingly overnight all of that has changed because of the novel coronavirus. In the last few days, more than 20,000 people have applied for unemployment in the state. That number is expected to reach 120,000 by next month, according to economy experts.

Clark worked as a manager in the service industry for three years and for the first time in his career he was laid off because of the coronavirus.

"My boss is taking it very seriously trying to make sure we didn't get sick and that we weren't the source of it spreading," Clark said.

Clark was working in a bar once that closed because of a natural disaster but even that experience was nothing like what is happening now.

"It's not like it's just impacting a small portion of us, it's impacting everyone," Clark said. "Everyone is out of work, everyone is trying to search for things."

Clark won't have to rely on unemployment benefits. A day after filing, he got a temp job at a grocery store the next day.