New Unemployment Claims Increase Again As Continued Claims Decline

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Release Date: 7/16/2020

July 16, 2020

LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that new unemployment claims increased last week while continued unemployment claims saw another decline. Spreadsheets showing regular and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims data are available here and will be updated every Thursday. 

Continued Unemployment Claims

There were 27,848 continued weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimed last week, compared to 29,496 the prior week.  There were 54,530 continued weeks of regular unemployment claimed last week, an increase over the prior week, when 53,673 claims were filed.

Continued weeks refer to the individual weeks of unemployment claimed after a person applies for benefits. Weekly certifications are required in order to claim continued weeks of unemployment and receive payment. 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. 

Of the top 50 occupations with the highest number of continued claims, 24 have declined by 10% or more since the week ending May 9. Hairdressers, hairstylists and cosmetologists (70%) and manicurists and pedicurists (64%) were the top two occupations declining since the week ending May 9.  Of the 791 occupations in which claims have been filed, 206 or 26% have seen declines of 20 percent or more since the week ending May 9.

New Unemployment Claims

Last week, 8,211 new regular unemployment claims were filed, an increase of 34.3 percent over the prior week, when 6,112 claims were filed. The highest number of new claims filed during the pandemic was 26,539 claims during the week ending April 4. Initial claims are filed by individuals to request a determination of eligibility for unemployment insurance benefits. There were 1,557 new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed last week compared to 1,455 the prior week, an increase of 7 percent.

Nineteen out of the 20 industry sectors had an increase in new claims last week.  The top three claiming sectors last week were accommodation and food services (947), retail trade (749) and health care and social assistance (723).  The top three occupations filing an initial claim last week were cashiers (264), childcare workers (233), and retail salespersons (162).

Benefit Payments and Claim Processing   

NDOL paid a total of $55.9 million in benefits last week, including regular, PUA, $600 CARES Act payments, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides an additional 13 week of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular benefits. Regular and PUA benefits paid each week can be found here.  The $600 Cares Act payments are scheduled to end July 25.

Effective July 12, workers must conduct reemployment activities in order to remain eligible for unemployment benefits.  More information can be found here.

Helpful Links

Unemployment by the Numbers

Layoffs, Closures and WARNs

Important Reminders for Those Claiming Benefits

NDOL News Releases