IS THIS YOU? Unemployment numbers skyrocket, experts predict worse to come

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TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, almost five times the previous record set in 1982, amid a widespread economic shutdown caused by the coronavirus.

The surge in weekly applications was a stark reflection of the damage inflicted on the economy by the COVID-19 outbreak.

Layoffs are sure to accelerate as the U.S. economy sinks into a recession. Revenue has collapsed at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, gyms and airlines. Auto sales are plummeting, and car makers have closed factories. Most such employers face loan payments and other fixed costs, so they’re cutting jobs to save money.

That damage will certainly affect East Texas as well. In fact, it may already be affecting some.

Are you among them? We here at KETK want to hear from you if you have been laid off or if you’re an employer who is facing having to lay off employees.

This isn’t a story that’s happened “out there” somewhere. It’s hitting here. Smith County has confirmed 21 cases of COVID-19. Gregg County has 4. Cherokee County reported its first case Thursday, as did Harrison and Shelby Counties.

This is a tough time. And experts tell us it will only get tougher. But we’re all in this together, even while staying 6 feet apart.

So let us hear from you. How are you coping? What are your worries? Where are you turning from help?

Reach out to us. Call us here at the station, 903-581-5656, message us on Facebook or send us an email.

Let us share your story with your neighbors. And let us all draw strength from each other.

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