File Photo/The Lion's Roar
With the closures of bars, movie theaters, gyms and other establishments, university students are facing financial concerns as their jobs are put on hold.
Economic repercussions are reflected in the number of people who have filed for unemployment. As reported by the U.S. Department of Labor on March 19, 281,000 people applied for unemployment benefits nationwide, increasing 33% from the previous week.
Conner Brian, a senior marketing major, described the day he was laid off from his two jobs.
“I was at work and was called into the main office at my company, and they were like, ‘For right now, we’re going to be on a permanent hold’,” explained Brian. “About one o’clock, I got a call from my other boss once we got federal notice that no bars and restaurants can be open for business, so I essentially got laid off of that job as well.”
Brian explained how the lack of employment will affect him as a self-sufficient college student.
“It’s definitely impacted me,” expressed Brian. “I am a graduating senior and have been pretty self-sufficient all through college, paying my way through and taking out loans for classes and stuff like that. The rent and all that is on me, so it is definitely an impact.”
With limited funds, Brian has debated filing for unemployment or finding another job.
Brian shared his financial concerns and how he plans to prepare for the months ahead.
“I am fortunate enough to where I’ve been able to have an excess of income with having multiple jobs,” said Brian. “Having multiple revenue streams, I’ve been able to save a good bit. So, I can float for about 60 days or so, but anything after that, things will start getting dicey, so I’d rather make more money now and prepare for that.”
Michael Lawson, a sophomore biology major who also worked two jobs, shared how the no dine-in regulation has caused him to lose income as a server.
“After the restaurants were shut down, my restaurant in particular decided not to do to-go orders or anything, so they had to lay us off until restaurants are able to open again,” said Lawson.
Lawson explained that, for many workers, filing for unemployment benefits is a means of survival.
“They knew that it was going to create a lot of financial troubles for people,” said Lawson. “A lot of people work there and that’s their only job, and that’s their only way to pay rent and live. So, what they’ve suggested was to lay people off so that if people needed to apply for unemployment, they could.”
Lawson expressed how the upcoming months without his job as a server will add financial stress.
“Whenever the restaurants start reopening, they told us to reapply, and then we would get our jobs back,” said Lawson. “Even though we’re almost guaranteed our jobs back, still not having the job is kind of stressful, making sure bills are paid and everything.”
With a second source of income to keep him afloat, Lawson acknowledged that other workers do not have that security.
“Luckily for me, I work another job at the post office, so I can still work there and make money to afford living, but I know a lot of people can’t,” said Lawson.
To find out how to apply for unemployment insurance, visit the official Department of Labor website, which provides guidance on the homepage.