Amid an astronomical rise in unemployment numbers across the US owing to sweeping lockdowns, the State of New York and tech giant Google have come together to create an online platform to help people file unemployment claims. Google says it plans for similar roll-outs in other states as well.
The development comes at a time when jobless claims have hit a record 6.6 Million across the country, with IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva warning the world may enter its worst recession since The Great Depression of the 1930s.
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the New York State Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance filing system has faced an unprecedented increase in volume — with peak weeks seeing a 16,000% increase in phone calls and a 1,600% increase in web traffic, compared to a typical week,” the New York Department of Labor said in a press release on Thursday.
The site will be live by Friday morning and will be able to handle a high volume of user traffic, besides expediting the process. Google says it is working on expanding the service to other states as well.
“We continue to work with local, state, and federal agencies on a number of projects to help them better serve citizens during the COVID-19 pandemic,” a representative from Google’s cloud division said in an email to CNBC.
New York has become one of the worst-hit states by COVID-19 pandemic, with over 800 deaths reported until Thursday. Over 450,000 people have reportedly filed for unemployment benefits in the state alone.