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Unemployment Claims in Adams County Soar Due to COVID-19

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The Adams County workforce has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus shutdown with almost ten times as many workers receiving unemployment benefits now than before the health crisis began.

Statistics gathered by the Pennsylvania State Center for Workforce Information and Analysis show that in early March, 599 people (about 1% of the total county labor force) were receiving unemployment compensation. Three weeks later, that number had grown tenfold, to 5,972.

These numbers are likely an under-representation of the true unemployment rate in the county because they do not include unemployed people who are unable to apply for benefits or who are receiving benefits under other unemployment programs.

In addition, the state was unable to identify a location for about 22% of the continuing claims, so the number receiving benefits in Adams County could be much larger.

According to state reports, the categories with the most unemployment applications were “leisure and hospitality,” “trade, transportation, and utilities” (which includes retail sales and warehousing), and “education and health.”

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Leon Reed is a former US Senate staff member, defense consultant, and history teacher. He is a five year resident of Gettysburg, where he volunteers with SCCAP and at the Resource Room at the park visitor center; writes military history; and explores the park and the Adams County countryside. He is the publisher at Little Falls Books, a board member of Adams County Habitat for Humanity, and is chairing the Adams County 2020 Census Complete Count Committee. He and his wife, Lois, have 3 children, 4 cats, and 5 grandchildren.

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