Labor official: NY unemployment system prepared for surge

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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s labor commissioner says the state is ready to rapidly ramp up its unemployment system again in case the pandemic surges and the economy must shutter down the road.

The coronavirus pandemic has taken the lives of tens of thousands of New Yorkers, and efforts to reduce its spread by closing businesses in dense New York City and State forced millions out of work.

The state of 19 million had an unemployment rate of 15.7% in June, up from 3.9% a year earlier. New York has doled out $40 billion in unemployment benefits to 3.3 million New Yorkers in over five months.

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