Billions of dollars fraudulent unemployment claims have been caught in New York State.

As the COVID-19 pandemic took over our lifestyles, it also took over the economy. Millions of people lost their job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The U.S. The U.S. saw unemployment numbers reach over 13 million at the height of the pandemic. Federal and state unemployment benefits were boosted to help people with the sudden job losses, and more relief is currently being worked out by the federal government.

However, a new report shows that there have been over $5 billion fraudulent unemployment claims in New York State. The New York Post reports that $5.5 billion in fraudulent unemployment claims have been caught in New York. Roughly 425,000 fraudulent claims were made. Over $65 billion in unemployment benefits have been paid to over 4 million New Yorkers since March 2020. This is equal to 30 years of unemployment benefits during a typical pre-pandemic year.

New York State Labor COmmissioner Roberta Reardon said, "Unemployment fraud is sadly a scourge that we have to fight every day, but it is particularly despicable that criminals would use a global pandemic as cover to attempt to defraud our system," according to the New York Post.

In New York, over 1 million jobs were lost in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. New York City took the biggest hit, with 578,000 jobs being lost between December 2019 and December 2020, according to the New York Post. This was a 12% job loss rate which was doubly the 6% U.S. job loss rate during the pandemic. New York State budget officials released a new report that estimates New York won't return to pre-pandemic employment levels until 2025.

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