LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that there were 2,690 new regular unemployment claims filed last week, a decrease of 15.6 percent over the prior week when 3,189 claims were filed. There were 1,119 new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed last week compared to 1,156 the prior week, a decrease of 3.2 percent. The highest number of new claims filed during the pandemic was 26,539 claims during the week ending April 4. Spreadsheets showing regular and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims data are available here and will be updated every Thursday.
Continued Unemployment Claims
There were 28,261 continued weeks of regular unemployment claimed last week, a decrease over the prior week, when 30,917 claims were filed. There were 23,961 continued weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimed last week, down slightly compared to 24,355 the prior week.
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, 43 have declined by 30 percent or more since the week ending May 9, corresponding with the loosening of the direct health measures. The top continued claim occupations for the week ending August 15 (the most recent week for which occupation data is available) were cashiers (1,410), waiters and waitresses (1,168), and customer service representatives (1,168).
Benefit Payments and Claim Processing
NDOL paid a total of $10.5 million in benefits last week, including regular, PUA, 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. NDOL has paid over 129,000 individuals during the pandemic.
Benefits paid since March 29:
Regular UI: $270,980,474
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self-employed): $52,900,011
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants): $689,146,042
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
(extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks): $7,062,093
Top industries with highest initial claims for week ending August 22
#1 Accommodation and Food Services: 337
#2 Health Care and Social Assistance: 315
#3 Retail Trade: 276
#4 Manufacturing: 222
Top three occupations filing an initial claim for week ending August 22
#1 Cashiers: 81
#2 Customer Service Representatives: 47
#3 Driver/Sales Workers: 44