SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX) — With businesses being forced to shut down amid COVID shelter orders across the state, unemployment claims are at their highest level in months. The latest numbers show California jobless claims have risen to nearly 178,000.
Some experts are saying it could take months for the economy to bounce back in the wake of the latest coronavirus surge.READ MORE: News Crew Security Guard Shot In Oakland Dies From Injuries
With unemployment numbers jumping once again after a second lockdown, former EDD director Michael Bernick told KPIX 5 there is only one way out.
“We won’t see any significant uptick in hiring until the vaccine,” Bernick said.
Even with the FDA greenlighting the Pfizer vaccine for emergency use Thursday and doses arriving in the Bay Area as soon as next week, the job market will remain slim.
“It will be until February or March until a larger part of the California labor force will be immunized. And even then, that’s only about a third,” said Bernick.READ MORE: UPDATE: 2 Men Shot Outside South Bay High School Football Playoff Game
Most of the California workforce won’t be vaccinated until late spring or early summer.
“We’re talking about a very limited part of the California labor force that’s able to be immunized right away. And how quickly we can get the rest of the labor force is going to determine the speed of the recovery,” said Bernick
Among those applying for unemployment for a second time is esthetician Jamie Fiero. She was laid off again on Saturday and didn’t get back to work after the first shutdown until September 10th.
“Having only been open for three months, replenishing my finances didn’t really happen. I was mostly catching up. So I don’t have a lot in savings right now,” said Fiero.
She is concerned about living off of unemployment with no CARES act funding this time round.MORE NEWS: COVID: Expert Says New Omicron Coronavirus Variant Likely Already in U.S.
“I fortunately for this month got a pass on rent. My health insurance I have through Covered California. That’s over $300 dollars a month. I need to get the transmission fixed in my car. There are things that come up and that’s without Christmas.”