LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that new unemployment claims decreased 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.
New Unemployment Claims
Last week, 3,973 new regular unemployment claims were filed, a decrease of 51.6 percent over the prior week, when 8,208 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 1,500 new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed last week compared to 1,548 the prior week, a decrease of 3.1 percent.
All 20 industry sectors had a decrease in new claims last week. The top three claiming sectors last week were accommodation and food services (473), manufacturing (428), and retail trade (393). Accommodation and food services had the largest drop from the prior week with a difference of 474 initial claims. The top three occupations filing an initial claim last week were cashiers (118), customer service representatives (84), and waiters and waitresses (77).
Continued Unemployment Claims
There were 26,599 continued weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimed last week, down slightly compared to 27,848 the prior week. There were 50,647 continued weeks of regular unemployment claimed last week, a decrease over the prior week, when 54,526 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, 30 have declined by 10% or more since the week ending May 9. The top continued claims occupations for the week ending July 11 (the most recent week for which occupation data is available) were waiters and waitresses (2,504), Cashiers (2,117), and customer service representatives (1,738).
Benefit Payments and Claim Processing
NDOL paid a total of $51.8 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.