Almost 8,000 Alabamians filed for unemployment last week

While unemployment claims have declined the last few months, a lot of people are still struggling to make ends meet.

Posted: Oct 8, 2020 5:40 PM
Updated: Oct 8, 2020 6:11 PM

While unemployment claims have declined the last few months, a lot of people are still struggling to make ends meet.

The Alabama Department of Labor reports almost 8,000 unemployment claims were filed last week.

"I had to forfeit my car, so we lost one car. My husband works fulltime and he has to take care of all the bills now," said parent, Natasha Zeno.

Zeno has four children, two of whom are at high risk for coronavirus.

"I don't have childcare like I used to before COVID, so they had to actually let me go," said Zeno.

She's now been unemployed since March and regularly files for unemployment.

"I only get a little over 200 a week and with four kids and everything they need and our bills, I mean it helps, don't get me wrong, but it's still really, really stressful. You pay the bills and you don't have anything left," said Zeno.

It's something Niadga Reine is also dealing with.

"To finally be able to start working and have that ripped away from me, it's heartbreaking," said Reine.

She used to work for The Cardinal School in Madison, which helps children with learning differences.

"Since we were a non-profit organization, we didn't have a lot of kids and because of COVID, they only had a few kids come back," said Reine.

She was let go back in April.

"It's easy to slip into that mindset of depression, because it's so nerve-wracking to see how many people are unemployed," said Reine.

Zeno is working to find childcare for her four kids, and both she and Reine haven't stopped looking for new jobs.

"I'm praying. I have to stay optimistic," said Reine.

Of the 7,732 unemployment claims filed in the last week, almost 4,000 of them were coronavirus-related.

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