Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia told CNBC on Friday that the federal government is helping states deal with the crush of Americans filing for unemployment insurance and the guidelines for paying out an additional federal coronavirus stipend.
On top of the jobless benefits provided by the states, last month's $2.2 trillion coronavirus rescue package passed by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump allocated an additional $600 per week from the federal government for up to four months.
"About two-thirds of the states are now making those payments," Scalia said. "We want to help them succeed in getting these payments out to workers."
Scalia, son of late conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, said the federal government is providing resources to the states, some of which have decades-old computer systems. "We have a billion dollars that we are giving out to help them with those systems."
In just a month, 22 million workers have filed first-time jobless claims, including more than 5.2 million last week alone. The U.S. economy is close to wiping out all the jobs created in the 10 years since the Great Recession.