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State needs to address difficulties

The coronavirus pandemic has been going on for nearly two months now. In that time, businesses have either temporarily or permanently closed, sending thousands of workers to the unemployment line.

In a report released this week, data shows that the unemployment rate caused by COVID-19 is more than 16% for the week ending April 25.

In Nashua, the unemployment rate is at 14.8%, while the state’s largest city – Manchester – is at 21%.

In total, more than 170,000 Granite State residents have applied for benefits in the past two months. Nationwide, more than 34 million Americans have applied for benefits.

While we at The Telegraph understand that state officials are inundated with far more claims than at any point in time in our history, we are disappointed that our fellow citizens still are having difficulty applying for unemployment.

The state has set up a website – www.unemploymentbenefits.nh.gov – and a hotline, but it remains difficult to get through and claims often are delayed.

Even employers who are assisting those furloughed or laid off are having issues getting through, navigating the state’s website and faxing information.

Unfortunately, it looks like we are not out of the woods yet when it comes toCOVID-19, and businesses and employees likely will see a lasting impact – even through next year.

It is imperative that state officials – including Gov. Chris Sununu and New Hampshire Employment Security higher-ups – deal with these issues quickly.

Many of our neighbors are hurting financially, and need these benefits so they can pay their utility bills, rent and buy groceries.

Don’t let this problem get even worse. Shift the needed resources – including manpower – to the right places so our fellow citizens can at least afford the essentials.

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