So many people have filed for unemployment in 2009, the state of New York has had to borrow money from the feds to pay the claims.
Despite paying lower benefits to its jobless residents than other Northeastern states, the state’s unemployment fund has been borrowing about $90 million a week from the federal unemployment trust fund, state officials said. The deficit has already reached $212 million and is expected to exceed $2.5 billion by the end of 2010, they said. State officials say that the deficit does not threaten the continued payment of benefits. But the loans could wind up costing the state’s unemployment fund more than $100 million in interest and could result in a punitive tax on all employers across the state two years from now, state officials and experts on the unemployment insurance system said. More than 500,000 people were collecting unemployment checks in New York State in the first week of this year, nearly three times as many as a year before.
Yesterday one of my closest friends lost his job of nine years. Several others lost their jobs between October and January. It’s a dark time for Gotham.