CALIFORNIA—On June 3, the Employment Development Department (EDD) of California reported that the total unemployment benefits paid since March 2020 is $152 billion (a total of 22.8 million claims), but there is a backlog of 222,559 individuals who have not received their benefits. The number of claims paid within one week of certification is 85.5 percent.

“From February 2021 through May 2021, California added 495,000 total non-farm payroll jobs, making up nearly a quarter of the nation’s job growth and marking the state’s fourth consecutive month of gains of more than 100,000 jobs. Of the 2,714,800 jobs lost in March and April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, California has now regained 1,406,800, more than half. May’s unemployment rate is 7.9 percent, now less than half of the peak rate in April 2020,” states a press release from the Governor of California’s website on June 18.


On June 18, California Senator Shannon Grove of Bakersfield, said in an interview “While people and businesses across the state are struggling, Newsom is laughing about giving away taxpayer dollars in his lottery charade. Imagine what could have been done with the $116.5 million he is giving away.”

Emily Hoeven, the author of the column, Whatmatters for Calmatters publication has been tracking California’s backlogged unemployment on Twitter.

According to reports, the EDD reports 1 in 3 claims are fraudulent. Monies have been inadvertently paid to prison inmates, and unverified individuals going by an alias.

According to a press release from May 19, Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy and Republicans introduced a bill to prevent rampant unemployment fraud.