UNM financial expert says state could see 165,000 new unemployment claims | KOB 4

UNM financial expert says state could see 165,000 new unemployment claims

Patrick Hayes
Created: July 15, 2020 06:51 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The state’s legislative finance committee will spend the next few days taking a closer look at how the coronavirus is impacting the economy.

Researchers with UNM’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research say the state is in the middle of the pack when it comes to unemployment.

"Long story short, New Mexico has had, compared to other states, relatively few people who have filed for unemployment,” said Jeffrey Mitchell, director of the UNM BBER. “On the other hand, we've had few people on unemployment leave."

According to UNM, most unemployment claims are being filed by people working in restaurants, the hospitality industry, retail and health services. Experts also said things could get worse when people stop receiving that extra $600 a week for unemployment.

The state could see 165,000 people file for unemployment before the end of the quarter.

"So what we are seeing now may not be the worst of what we see,” Mitchell said.

The federal government has given New Mexico businesses 9,650 disaster loans for a total of $566 million, and 21,924 PPP loans totaling $2.2 billion.

Officials also discussed college football. Both New Mexico State and UNM could lose millions of dollars in guaranteed money if they’re unable to play certain out-of-state teams because of the pandemic.

Lawmakers will spend the next two days working with experts to come up with solutions.

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