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Initial unemployment claims moderate, PUA claims jump

For the week ending October 17, initial claims for unemployment insurance were down 2.6% for the week ending Oct. 17, according to finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Initial claims totaled 8,734 compared to last week’s total of 8,964 claims, according to DETR. There have been 728,045 initial claims filed in 2020, 706,393 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, fell for the 10th consecutive week to 140,132, a decline of 17,073 claims, or 10.9%, from the previous week’s total of 157,205. This is the fewest continued claims since the report week ending April 4, when there were 131,121 claims filed.

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, fell 1.3 percentage points to 10%. 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, which provides up to 46 weeks of benefits for the self-employed, 1099 contract workers and gig workers, saw 12,537 initial claims filed in the week ending Oct. 17, an increase of 4,040 claims, or 47.5%, from last week’s total of 8,497. Through the week ending Oct. 17, there have been 504,606 PUA initial claims filed.

PUA continued claims totaled 90,120 in the week ending Oct. 17, a decline of 1,678, or 1.8%, from the previous week’s total of 91,798. 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 75,042 claims filed in the week, an increase of 11,491 claims from a week ago. A continued increase in the number of PEUC claims is expected as claimants began exhausting their regular program benefits.

Nevada’s State Extended Benefit program, which provides up to 20 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular unemployment benefits and PEUC program benefits, saw 5,868 claims filed in the week, an increase of 774 claims from a week ago.

Nationally, the advance figure for unadjusted regular initial claims was 756,617, a decrease of 73,125 claims from the previous week. The national insured unemployment rate for the week ending Oct. 10 was 5.5%, a 0.6 percentage point decline from the previous week’s rate. The national rate is reported with a one-week lag.

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