TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)—As businesses continue to close the number of unemployment applicant’s increase.
"Well my thought process was how long and what was going to be the situation,” said Lance Miller.
Lance Miller is among the dozens of Tippecanoe County residents who, for the first time, filed for unemployment in the last few weeks.
"A little bit leery,” said Miller. “I hadn't done it before. Wasn't sure what the process was going to be and how easy it was going to be too established."
Local unemployment offices are reporting that in the past three weeks there were more than 5,600 initial unemployment claims filed in Tippecanoe County.
"Oh, it's not good,” said Purdue University Labor Economist Timothy Bond.
That number is compared to 70 in the same three week span in 2019.
"I mean it says that basically what people were predicting that the lockdown order in conjunction with the virus was going to lay off a lot of people,” said Bond.
Bond said even though high numbers of unemployment filers were expected these numbers are on the higher than expected.
"It's hard to say if we're going to see another really bad week next week or not,” said Bond. “So it's really hard to say. This week didn't show any sign of letting up relative to last week."
He said these numbers could increase as applications work through the system. Ultimately this could be a problem for the state budget.
"We can’t generate tax revenue if people are not at work,” said Bond. “Because we generate tax revenue coming from income taxes and sales taxes."
He said it's a good thing that the unemployment system is in place to help families get through this time.
"But the bottom line here is that until we get to a situation where businesses can re-open we can't even start to think about having a recovery for this,” said Bond.