Despite mostly good news on both the Louisiana health and economic fronts over the last few months, November has brought spikes in both unemployment and COVID-19 cases.

While unemployment claims had been trending downwards for some time, even getting below 10,000 for a few weeks, the week ending November 14 saw claims jump to over 42,000- a number not seen since early May.

The spike in cases nationally and drastic increase in unemployment claims should raise alarms for the Pelican State. As we know, Louisiana’s economy, which was struggling before the pandemic, relies heavily on services and tourism. These sectors were devastated due to the initial wave of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns. And now, as states once again lockdown and people travel less, we’re seeing those lockdown measures take yet another economic toll.

While this week’s troubling report is hopefully just an outlier on road to recovery, government restrictions around the nation suggest more hard times are ahead. There is little leaders in Louisiana can do about other state’s policies, but they must be ready to address the problems that will arise from the thousands of Louisianans returning to unemployment.

Most importantly, Louisiana leaders should not stop businesses from serving their communities. If harsh restrictions are again implemented, countless small enterprises which have just started to recover, will be forced to close their doors forever.

Now is the time to stand up for the lives and livelihoods of Louisiana families who have been hurting for far too long.