New Unemployment Claims Stable Last Week

Release Date: 5/28/2020
Copy of Press Release Data (002).jpg

May 28, 2020


LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that new unemployment insurance benefit payments were stable for the week ending May 23, 2020. There were 5,794 new regular unemployment insurance claims filed during the week ending May 23, 2020. This is a decrease of 0.72 percent from the previous week, when 5,836 initial claims were filed.

The highest number of new claims filed during the pandemic was 26,539 claims during the week ending April 4. There were 1,258 new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed last week compared to 1,251 the prior week. Spreadsheets showing regular and PUA claims data are available here and will be updated every Thursday. 

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.

Benefit Payments 

Total benefits paid last week were nearly $71.8 million, including regular benefits, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) payments. Last week also saw 10,306 new individuals receive benefit payments.

The chart shows new individuals paid over time.  Increases can be seen with the start of payments for COVID-19 claims, the implementation of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and the Governor’s April 30 Executive Order. Since May 1, Regular and PUA benefits paid each week can be found here.

Of the regular unemployment claims paid since March 1, 85 percent were paid within 28 days; 75 percent were paid within 21 days.  There are currently around 10,300 claims yet to be processed.

Continued Weeks Claimed

All but three of the top 20 occupations with the largest amount of claimed weeks saw a decline in claims.  The three that went up slightly are cashiers, production workers all other, and driver sales workers.  Out of the top 20 occupations with the most claimed weeks, the ones with the biggest percentage decrease were hairdressers (34%), dental assistants (50%), and dental hygienists (52%).

There were 59,528 continued weeks of regular unemployment claimed last week.  This is a decrease from the prior week (60,757), a difference of 1,229 or 2.0 percent.  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 20,346 continued weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimed last week compared to 20,169 the week prior.

Claims by Industry

The highest counts of initial claims were in health care and social assistance (592), which decreased 1.16 percent from the prior week (599). Most industries had declines in initial claims from the prior week.  Increases were seen in educational services (33.9 percent), Wholesale trade (12.6 percent), construction (7.54 percent) and management of companies and enterprises (19 percent).

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 free.

13-Week Extension

NDOL has begun issuing payments for the additional 13 weeks of benefits under the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (PEUC).  This federal benefit is for workers who have exhausted regular benefits after July 1, 2019.  To apply for this benefit, reopen your claim and continue to file weekly claims at  The earliest week that can be claimed is the week ending April 4.


Weekly Claims: After filing a new claim, applicants must certify their eligibility every week that they continue to be unemployed by logging into their NEworks account and filing a weekly claim.  These weekly claims must be completed even while a new claim is still being processed. 

Short-Time Compensation: Employers who have Short-Time Compensation plans must file weekly claims for employees listed on the plan in order for these employees to receive payment.  Employees under STC plans should not file weekly claims. 

Waivers Extended: The waivers of the requirements to search for work and serve an unpaid waiting week have been extended through August 1. Employer charging for benefits paid due to COVID-19 has also been waived through August 1.

Refusing Work:  Employers who suspect a worker is refusing a job in order to continue collecting unemployment benefits may report these workers to  Workers with pre-existing conditions should work with their employers before being called back to work.

Report Fraud: If you suspect unemployment fraud, go to here to submit information.

Assistance: If your claim is older than 28 days and you have not received payment, you may contact

Copy of Press Release Data (002).jpg