Hurricane Sandy keeps Millions from Working and May Result in Lay-offs.

Hurricane Sandy has hit very hard the Northeast of the United States and especially the New York City Metropolitan Area. While the City slowly recovers from the storm, economic reports say that Sandy may cut U.S. economic growth as it keeps millions of employees away from work and shut businesses.

According to Gregory Daco, a U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight quoted by Bloomberg, the storm may cut output in the U.S. economy by $25 billion in the fourth quarter.

This economy slowdown is also expected to have effects on employment rates. While local governments anticipate that there might be a raise in the number of applications for unemployment benefits, the Rhode Island workers who have been laid-off because of the storm may be able to avoid the usual one-week delay in earning unemployment benefits.

According to the Boston.com website, Gov. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and State Labor and Training Director Charles Fogarty say employees need to seek a waiver for nonseasonal workers they have to lay off because of Sandy. Indeed, State law provides such a waiver in the case of a natural disaster or state emergency.

On their side, Rhode Island employees should follow standard unemployment filing procedures.