Senators Dan Sullivan and Lisa Murkowski will hold a virtual town hall meeting today, April 23, from 4-5 p.m. to answer questions and discuss challenges facing Alaska’s workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The U.S. Senators will be joined by Alaska’s Labor and Workforce Commissioner Tamika Ledbetter and Division of Employment and Training Services Director Patsy Westcott, who will answer worker and unemployment insurance questions.
According to the state’s latest figures, more than 32,000 Alaskans filed for unemployment insurance benefits in March, a 637% increase over the 4,359 who filed in March 2019. The hardest hit sectors are food services, hotels and restaurants. These are followed by health care and social assistance. Other sectors with large unemployment numbers are businesses that deal in retail and wholesale trade. The largest number of unemployment claims came from Anchorage, Mat-Su and the Kenai Peninsula.
“We know Alaskans are facing serious impacts during the coronavirus pandemic,” a statement on Murkowski’s website says. “We want to hear from you about how this pandemic is impacting you and answer questions you may have to help you navigate the resources and assistance available, such as unemployment insurance.”
Alaskans are invited to ask questions and hear directly from the senators and state officials.
Those who sign up will receive a phone call at the time of the event, which will connect them to the virtual meeting. Others who wish to simply listen in do not need to register.
Click here to access the meeting or to sign up to ask questions.