‘There are dire consequences’: Cashiers, delivery drivers struggled to get unemployment this spring as COVID-19 layoffs surged

Unemployment insurance has been a lifeline for millions who've lost work during the outbreak of COVID-19. But many of the cashiers, delivery drivers and other service workers who needed those benefits most were unable to get them in the spring, a new report finds.

News Story (NATIONAL)

Charisse Jones
USA Today
October 14, 2020

Tags: COVID-19, Employment, Unemployment, Unemployment Insurance


In the months of April and May, just 27% of service workers who’d been laid off or furloughed were receiving jobless benefits, according to research released Wednesday by The Shift Project at Harvard University.

“It’s really a constellation of factors that lead to many workers not having these unemployment insurance benefits when they need them the most,” says Daniel Schneider, The Shift Project’s co-director.

Some who’d lost work didn’t apply for assistance because they didn’t think they were eligible, while others couldn’t complete the application because of technical glitches in the system, Schneider says.