First the news about new unemployment claims in Tennessee. Since the Governor slammed the door on federal unemployment money and stopped extended benefits AND benefits to the self employed and gig workers....as of yesterday, nearly 17,000 new unemployment claims have been filed in Tennessee since July 3rd. Even the national new claims numbers shocked the experts this week, jumping to 419,000...when 350,000 were expected.
Here at home, as thousands of Tennessee residents who lost their original jobs due (mostly) to the pandemic are still struggling to find decent paying jobs.
The struggle is real. Imagine this........
According to the state's own jobs4tn.gov website, the fastest growing occupation for this area is 'Food Prep and Servers'....followed by 'Cashiers'...then 'retail salespeople'. Those jobs pay, on the average, just $100 a week more than the federal poverty line income level. (Those 3 job categories average $18,800 vs federal poverty line for 1 person at $12,800/annual)
To further compound the problem, those same three categories, which were the FIRST to be impacted by the pandemic shutdown...are in danger of having it happen all over again. As a result, the vast majority of those are looking for other, more insulated jobs.....and those are either hard to find, or require skill sets they don't have or haven't acquired yet.
To make matters even worse, rumblings are beginning again about the possibility of mandatory masks and business shutdowns.
The sudden rise of the Delta variant of COVID is real. In Tennessee alone, documented new cases of COVID have risen from 1,200 cases this time last month, to right at 9,000 today. Based on the current trajectory, that number could be as high as 64,000 this time next month. Also concerning, on a national scale, 2 of the fastest new case states, are right against our West Tennessee border: Arkansas and Missouri.
The White House is considering issuing some sort of mask mandate. Los Angeles County has already re-issued a mask mandate for all indoor facilities, and at least 2 restaurants have temporarily closed again.
School is about to get underway, and the CDC has adjusted their K-12 recommendations suggesting masks be worn by everyone indoors if not fully vaccinated as well as maintaining the 3-foot-rule in classrooms.
Yes, we are all doing our best to....and want to....get past the pandemic. But there is no denying that the effects are still being felt, and there is a very real threat of mandates and closings happening again.
Meanwhile, families are struggling financially. If your family is having difficulty finding family-supporting employment, or the pandemic put you in a financial crisis....call us at the law office of T. Verner Smith.
Through financial restructuring, debt resolution, or legal options including but not limited to bankruptcy, there are ways to relieve the pressure and chart a path to a better future. Don't be embarrassed, don't be hesitant, you are not alone, and taking action now is the smart approach.
Call us at (731) 423-1888 and schedule a free consultation.
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Call us at (731) 423-1888