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Unemployment claims fall to lowest level since March

Finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation shows initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 8,858 for the week ending Aug. 22, down 2,080 claims, or 19.0%, compared to the prior week’s total of 10,938 claims. This is the fewest initial claims filed since the week ending March 14.

Through the week ending Aug. 22, there have been 662,510 initial claims filed in 2020, 640,716 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 second straight week to 228,203, a decline of 12,143 claims, or 5.1%, from the previous week’s total of 240,346. This is the fewest continued claims since the report week ending April 11 when there were 189,007 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 by 0.9 percentage points to 16.4%. 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 10,871 initial claims filed in the week ending Aug. 22, a decrease of 1,485, or 12.0%, from last week’s total of 12,356. This is the fewest PUA initial claims filed in a week since the start of the program. Through the week ending Aug. 22, 420,936 PUA initial claims have been filed.

PUA continued claims totaled 107,334 in the week ending Aug. 22, a decline of 12,862 from the previous week’s revised total of 120,196. 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 21,365 claims filed in the week, an increase of 1,837 claims from a week ago. 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 2,338 claims filed in the week, an increase of 861 claims from a week ago.

Nationally, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted regular initial claims was 1,006,000, a decrease of 98,000 claims from the previous week’s revised level of 1,104,000. The national insured unemployment rate for the week ending Aug. 15 was 9.9%, a decrease of 0.2 percentage points from the previous week’s revised rate. The national rate is reported with a one-week lag.

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