Kevin Hassett economy coronavirus
Former Trump economist warns of another Great Depression
04:42 - Source: CNN Business
CNN  — 

Newly unemployed Americans are racing to file for jobless benefits as the coronavirus pandemic forces many businesses to reduce staff or shutter their doors, at least temporarily.

The swift, steep jump after years of low unemployment has strained some states’ ability to keep up, forcing them to add representatives to their call centers, extend hours and bolster their online capacity as they await a $1 billion infusion approved by Congress.

The crush also comes as some states have temporarily expanded eligibility and waived one-week waiting periods so people affected by the pandemic can tap into unemployment benefits more quickly.

In Illinois, the Department of Employment Security has been deluged in the last couple of days as more residents file for claims amid coronavirus emergency orders – such as Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s mandate closing restaurants and bars<