Tennessee’s latest week of new unemployment claims isn’t as dramatic as a few weeks ago, but an unusually high number of people are still filing for help.
Numbers out on Thursday morning show nearly 29,000 additional Tennesseans applied last week. And more than 314,000 are relying on that assistance.
Others are still waiting for claims to be processed. Paul Mohlman, of Knoxville, says he’s been unemployed for two months.
“I spent hours and hours and hours of my life on a telephone only to be hung up on,” Mohlman says. “I have never once been able to contact somebody, directly in unemployment, who can help me.”
He spoke Wednesday during a virtual press conference hosted by Democratic state lawmakers.
Last week, over $350 million was paid in unemployment assistance. The state covered about $60 million, with the federal government footing the rest of the bill with special pandemic assistance.
The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development says it has received 532,580 new claims since March 15.