New Unemployment Insurance Claims Declined 20.6 Percent Last Week

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Release Date: 5/7/2020
Individuals Paid-Cumulative.jpg


May 7, 2020

Executive Order Accelerated Benefit Payments 

LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that 6,351 new unemployment insurance claims were filed during the week ending May 2, 2020. This is a decrease of over 20 percent from the previous week when 8,002 initial claims were filed. Spreadsheets showing claims data are available here and will be updated every Thursday. 

Initial Claims

Initial claims are filed by individuals to request a determination of eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. NDOL processes initial unemployment insurance claims and, if an individual meets eligibility criteria, benefits are paid for each week of continued unemployment.

Continued Weeks Claimed

There were 64,420 continued weeks of unemployment claimed last week. Continued weeks refer to the individual weeks of unemployment claimed after a person applies for benefits. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the highest number of continued weeks was in the second week of 2010 when there were 26,075 continued weeks claimed.  There were 16,566 continued weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimed last week.

Claims by Industry

The highest counts of initial claims were in manufacturing (847), which decreased 1.6 percent from the prior week (861). This is the first time Manufacturing is the top industry for initial claims since the spike in claims due to COVID-19. Most industries had declines in initial claims from the prior week. Public Administration saw an increase of 32.7.

Benefit Payments                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

The chart above shows individuals paid over time.  Increases can be seen with the start of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments and the Governor’s April 30 Executive Order. Regular and PUA benefits paid each week can be found here.

Filing A Claim

Any worker in a non-paid status due to COVID-19 may file a claim for unemployment insurance benefits. Unemployment claims in Nebraska are filed online at The NEworks mobile app is available to download for free. After filing a new initial claim, applicants must certify their eligibility every week that they continue to be unemployed by logging into their NEworks account.  These weekly certifications must be completed even while the new claim is still being processed.  Claim and payment status can also be viewed by logging into the NEworks account.


The federal CARES Act created a temporary program that offers benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment insurance benefits including the self-employed, independent contractors, gig workers, and others (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance or PUA). The act also increases the amount an individual on regular unemployment or PUA will receive by $600 for every week an individual is unemployed. All individuals who qualify will receive $600 in additional benefits for each eligible week of unemployment through July 25. Workers who have been affected by the pandemic should file a claim for unemployment. NDOL will automatically review every claim that comes in for eligibility under the CARES Act.