Thousands knocked onto the unemployment line by Sandy can now head back to work, while also helping fellow residents affected by the storm.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a $27 million federal grant to put 5,000 unemployed New Yorkers to work cleaning up areas ravaged by the storm.
The funds were provided by a National Emergency Grant.
“As New York State begins to rebuild and clean up after the incredible destruction caused by Sandy, the enormous amount of work to be done gives us a chance to provide young and unemployed New Yorkers with job opportunities cleaning up their communities,” said Cuomo.
The Department of Labor is working with local officials in affected areas to identify locations to dispatch the cleanup and rebuilding crews. An additional 700 New Yorkers are set to be hired by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to replace out of state employees that descended on the state after Sandy.
Unemployment claims skyrocketed in the aftermath of Sandy, with 46,000 more residents requesting unemployment insurance after the storm, approximately a 33 percent increase. Prior to Sandy, the unemployment rate fell from 8.9 percent to 8.7 percent in October, according to the Department of Labor.
“What is the economic impact of those claims? When are those people going back to work? What happened to those businesses?” asked Cuomo.
Besides the unemployment claims, 265,000 businesses were affected by Sandy, the governor said.
“There was a tremendous loss of valuable commercial property, much of it in downtown Manhattan. It could be another month before some of those buildings come back online,” he said. “That’s a lot of jobs, that’s a lot of economic loss for the state”
Residents in disaster areas may be eligible for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA) relief which is open to those injured during the storm and unable to work, were unable to reach their job because of transportation issues or if their workplace was destroyed.
Interested unemployed residents can log onto www.labor.ny.gov/sandyjobs or http://www.labor.ny.gov/jobs/regional.shtm to apply.