September 10, 2020
LINCOLN - The Nebraska Department of Labor (NDOL) announced today that there were 2,451 new regular unemployment claims filed last week, an increase of 5.1 percent over the prior week when 2,331 claims were filed. There were 1,137 new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims filed last week compared to 988 the prior week, an increase of 15 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 22,881 continued weeks of regular unemployment claimed last week, a decrease over the prior week when 24,703 claims were filed. There were 24,600 continued weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claimed last week, up compared to 21,553 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, 28 have declined by 50 percent or more since the week ending May 9, corresponding with the loosening of the directed health measures. Forty-six have declined by 30 percent or more. The top continued claim occupations for the week ending August 29 (the most recent week for which occupation data is available) were cashiers (1,488), customer service representatives (1,092), and waiters and waitresses (932).
Benefit Payments and Claim Processing
NDOL paid a total of $8.8 million in benefits last week, including regular, PUA, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides an additional 13 weeks 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 131,000 individuals during the pandemic.
State Extended Benefits to End September 12
The Extended Benefits program, providing an additional 13 weeks of state Unemployment Insurance Benefits, will end September 12. Those already claiming Extended Benefits by the 12th will continue to receive the remainder of their Extended Benefit payments provided they meet eligibility requirements. No new applications for Extended Benefits will be accepted after September 12. Availability of Extended Benefits is based on each state’s insured unemployment rate.
Benefits paid since March 29:
Regular UI: $280,739,265
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
(gig workers/self-employed): $56,208,979
Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
($600/weekly UI benefits to eligible claimants): $692,496,770
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
(extends unemployment benefits by up to 13 weeks): $8,452,598
Top industries with highest initial claims for week ending September 5
#1 Accommodation and Food Services: 258
#2 Health Care and Social Assistance: 251
#3 Retail Trade: 234
#4 Administrative and Support and Waste Management and Remediation: 227
Top three occupations filing an initial claim for week ending September 5
#1 Cashiers: 73
#2 Customer Service Representatives: 47
#3 Laborer and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers: 41