On Thursday, the United States Labor Department released data indicating that an additional 6.6 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in the past week, bringing the total number of applications to 10.4 million as of March 28.
Angela Cornell, clinical professor of law and director of Cornell University’s Labor Law Clinic, says that the staggering unemployment rate highlights the need to subsidize the employment of American workers.
“The United States must do more to address the startling unemployment rate the nation is facing, which is headed toward record levels. Like many other nations, we should be subsidizing furloughs to ensure that business are not at a tremendous disadvantage when we reopen for business, and more importantly, to ensure that more American workers are not laid off in this crisis.
“This is more critical here than in other industrialized countries because so many of our workers live paycheck to paycheck, which means they will so quickly find themselves destitute, but unlike in other countries, they will also be facing this crisis without health insurance since their access to medical coverage is tied to their employment.
“Subsidizing the employment of American workers at risk is the most efficient and effective way to help workers and business alike.”