California Governor Gavin Newsom forewarned of "jaw-dropping” unemployment at his daily press conference on Wednesday.
After stating the state is experiencing an unprecedented spike in unemployment claims, he said, “You’ll see these numbers translating into unemployment rates that will be rather jaw-dropping.”
Newsom called the rise in unemployment claims “Without precedent in our state’s history,” noting that 4.2 million people have now applied for Public Unemployment Assistance and $10.6 billion in aid has already been distributed.
He also announced his signing an executive order extending worker's compensation to essential workers who test positive for COVID-19, adding that benefits could only be rebutted by an employer "under strict criteria."
Newsom is facing mounting criticism over a plan he announced on April 16 that would create a $125 million fund for undocumented immigrants affected by the coronavirus. Non-profits will distribute the money, but it's still unclear when people will see a check.