More than 700 Inyo workers file for jobless benefits

Register Staff
Staff Writer

Roughly 10 percent of Inyo County’s workforce had filed for state unemployment benefits in March when the county’s economy began to shut down to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The California Employment Development Department reported that 734 Inyo County workers had applied for unemployment through the end of March, the latest data available. The department’s statistics show that Inyo County had a total of 7,660 people employed in March. The county’s total workforce is roughly 8,400, according to the EDD.
The unemployment filings for March are striking when compared to the two previous months: just 67 workers filed for unemployment in February and 96 filed in January, the state reported.
In mid-March, the state ordered the shuttering of non-essential businesses. Non-essential travel, which also includes travel for recreation, was also discouraged. Those state orders stopped the usual surge of spring visitors to Inyo County, whether traveling to Death Valley National Park or coming to the Sierra for hiking, camping and fishing.
Statewide, the EDD has processed 1.6 million unemployment claims during March of this year.
The national unemployment rate topped 14 percent in May, the highest level since the Great Depression.