New data illustrating historic demand for unemployment benefits in California

Updates on EDD’s efforts to process and pay benefits

Sacramento – According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the California Employment Development Department (EDD) processed 615,809 unemployment benefit claims and paid $4.5 billion in benefits during the week ending on May 2, 2020.

In total, since the week ending March 14, the EDD processed a total of 4.1 million claims for benefits and paid a total of $8.9 billion in benefit payments including both first benefit payments and ongoing bi-weekly benefits once workers have a claim established. Those claims include both Unemployment Insurance (UI) and the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which launched on April 28th. PUA recipients may be self-employed, business owners, independent contractors, those who have limited work history, and those who have recently collected all of the available benefits on their regular UI claim. California marks the week ending March 14 as the start of unemployment demand related to COVID-19.

The numbers reported reflect earlier initial estimates on claims processed and benefits paid.  The EDD’s data analysis is reported weekly to the U.S. Department of Labor which then releases the official data each Thursday for the prior week.

EDD also released a new weekly data dashboard to illustrate the continued demand for unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

Putting the Data into Context

Over just the last seven weeks, the EDD has paid more than a third of what was paid in benefits during the highest year of demand during the last recession, which was $22.9 billion in calendar year 2010. 


Robb Mayberry

Robb Mayberry is a Public Information Officer for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services. He has assisted in the response and recovery efforts with some of California’s worst disasters, including the San Refugio Oil Spill, the Valley and Butte Wildfires, Aliso Canyon Gas Leak, Erskine Fire, the Winter Storms of 2017, the Tubbs Fire, the Thomas Fire, the Carr Fire, the Camp Fire, and the Ridgecrest Earthquake. Prior to public service, he spent 25 years managing the public and media relations for some of Northern California’s largest healthcare organizations.

3 thoughts on “New data illustrating historic demand for unemployment benefits in California

  • May 8, 2020 at 6:51 pm

    We need EDD’s email so we can send in our appeal. I can not find it.

  • May 14, 2020 at 6:55 pm

    We need an EDD’s email so we can send in the appeal which was prepared.

  • May 14, 2020 at 7:01 pm

    Need an EDD email to send in the appeal.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: