New unemployment numbers include 3 members of one SoCal family

For Shelly Gates, Mother's Day is going to be tough. "There's not really anything to celebrate now."

That’s because three of her four grown kids are furloughed from their jobs. It’s tough for all three who are now statistics in the April unemployment number. But, worse, she says, they’re not receiving the unemployment money they applied for.

"So it's kind of a nightmare."

KNX 1070 Newsradio Business Reporter Frank Mottek says the April unemployment rate of 14.7% can be compared to the great depression -- a time in the 1920s and 1930s of bread lines and tough times.  

Mottek says, “We haven’t seen anything like this since the1930’s since the Great Depression. An unemployment rate of 20-and-a-half-million people. That’s the worst one-month unemployment we’ve seen in history.”

Certainly, Shelly Gates has never seen anything like it in her lifetime. Her husband died 3 years ago. She’s a single parent working, but trying to help the kids in her family who are not.

Gates says, “It’s very stressful because you gotta pay your rent and I’ve gotta take care of a lot of kids. Right now I’m working but what if I get furloughed?" 

There is one very big difference from those days in the '20s and 1930s, something that could be viewed as a ray of sunshine according to Mottek who adds that 80% of those in this latest survey "expect to be rehired in the next 6 months. So, that is encouraging but that doesn’t change the fact that people are suffering tremendously during this crisis.” 

But for Shelly Gates, there is the uncertainty of when furloughed workers will get back to work.

She says, “there is nothing but uncertainty right now. From day-to-day, you have no way of knowing what’s going to happen.”