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Unemployment remains issue for millions, including many in Acadiana

Posted at 10:14 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 23:29:19-04

Millions of Americans continue to be affected by unemployment despite a downward trend in numbers.

Here in Louisiana, the unemployment rate in January was 7.6 percent. That's up from 5.1 percent in January 2020, before the pandemic began, but down from a historic high in May, when it was 13.1 percent.

The American Rescue Plan signed into law last week by President Joe Biden will provide a boost to many Americans, but the process isn't always easy.

We spoke with one man who has been out of a job since July 2020, and eight months later, he says he's still trying to get help.

"I was kind of relying on unemployment to help me keep me afloat a little bit," said Dmarquis Matthews.

After being laid off as a deckhand in Houma, Matthews filed for unemployment. He says shortly after filing the first time, he received payment, but adds that since November, those payments have stopped.

"I refiled November 20th. I sent it in and two weeks passed by and I didn't receive payment. I called back up there again and they said I needed to upload a selfie of me holding all my documents," Matthews explained. "I uploaded the selfie, two weeks passed by and I called again and then that's when they said my driver license didn't match the ID on my claim. They needed a proof of ID and I sent it. I've sent numerous emails and I haven't received anything."

A husband and father of two, Matthews says he'll keep trying to get help and find work.

"It's kind of hard to take care of them, but you have to do what you have to do."

We reached out to the Louisiana Workforce Commission to see what the hold up is in Matthew's case, but haven't heard back.

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