The $600 weekly unemployment benefit that has been keeping many people financially afloat during the coronavirus pandemic is set to expire on July 31.
After millions of Americans began losing their jobs in March, the federal government passed the CARES Act, which included an extra $600 on top of unemployment benefits offered by states.
Since April 20, 664,046 people in Massachusetts have filed for pandemic unemployment assistance, according to a press release from the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
From July 5 to July 11, Massachusetts had 23,535 individuals file for regular Unemployment Insurance (UI), a decrease of 3,084 over the previous week, and the fifth consecutive week of decline, according to the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development.
Being a seasonal economy, Martha’s Vineyard has been particularly hard-hit. While hotels, restaurants, and retail stores have reopened, all are facing issues with staffing.
According to an economic model created by Applied Geographic Solutions (AGS), and a graphic map created by the Pioneer Institute of Public Policy Research based on that model, Dukes County’s unemployment rate as of July 11 is among the highest across the state, and is estimated to be 13.6 percent. This is a steep drop-off from the 26.6 percent in May.
This is also a drastic comparison to July 2019, when unemployment rates on the Island hovered around 3 to 4 percent.
More information on applying for benefits can be found at mass.gov/unemployment.