Talk about hard times for the United States with this coronavirus pandemic. Not only that, but the fact that so many people are unemployed right now including here in the state of Michigan.

Claims for unemployment benefits continued to skyrocket in Michigan last week during the coronavirus pandemic, when 311,000 people filed initial applications.

The number of applications beat the previous record high of 128,000, which was set the prior week.

The weekly record for new claims had been 77,000 in January 2009, during the Great Recession, which hit the state especially hard.

The unemployment system has been flooded. The website went down recently before being restored.

The state Unemployment Insurance Agency has implemented a schedule for people to apply based on their last name. It is urging patience, recommending that users apply online late at night or early in the morning.

The state also is working to expand the capacity of its online system.

In the last two weeks, overall jobless claims rose by nearly 421,000 over the prior two week period, according to WILX.

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