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Initial unemployment claims continue moderate increase

Initial unemployment claims have risen for the fourth consecutive week while continued claims are back above 300,000 according to Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation data.

Finalized data from DETR show initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 15,548 for the week ending July 18, up 882 claims, or 6.0 percent, compared to last week’s total of 14,666. This is the fourth consecutive week of increases in regular initial claims. Through the week ending July 18, there were 592,700 initial claims filed in 2020, 571,048 of which have been filed since the week ending March 14.

Continued claims, which represent the current number of insured unemployed workers filing weekly for unemployment insurance benefits, rose to 306,077, an increase from the previous week of 10,083 claims, or 3.4 percent. This is the third straight week of increases in continued claims. Nevada’s insured unemployment rate, which is the ratio of continued claims in a week to the total number of jobs covered by the unemployment insurance system, rose by 0.7 percentage points to 22.0 percent. It should be noted that the calculation of the insured unemployment rate is different from that of the state’s total unemployment rate.

The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for the self-employed, 1099 contract workers and gig workers saw 19,557 initial claims filed in the week ending July 18, a decrease of 7,442, or 27.6 percent, from last week’s total of 26,999. Since the PUA program began, 332,536 initial claims have been filed.

PUA continued claims totaled 132,595 in the week ending July 18, a decline of 20,693 from the previous week’s revised total of 153,288. Weekly PUA continued claims are now reported by the benefit week claimed. This follows the reporting procedure for regular continued claims and allows us to understand the number of unemployed workers filing weekly for PUA benefits.

Nevada’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, saw 11,963 claims filed in the week, an increase of 1,506 from a week ago.

Nevada’s State Extended Benefit program, which provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular unemployment benefits and PEUC program benefits, saw 308 claims filed in the week, an increase of 223 from a week ago. Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted regular initial claims was 1,416,000, an increase of 109,000 claims from the previous week’s revised level of 1,307,000. The national insured unemployment rate for the week ending July 11 was 11.1 percent, a decrease of 0.7 percentage points from the previous week’s revised rate. The national rate is reported with a one-week lag.

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