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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 7,951 for the week ending Sept. 5, down 81 claims, or 1.0%, compared to last week’s total of 8,032 claims.

This is the fewest initial claims filed since the week ending March 14. Through the week ending Sept. 5, there have been 678,351 initial claims filed in 2020, 656,699 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 fourth straight week to 216,187, a decline of 5,412 claims, or 2.4%, from the previous week’s total of 221,599. 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 0.4 percentage points to 15.6%. 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 9,832 initial claims filed in the week Sept. 5, a decrease of 579, or 5.6%, from last week’s total of 10,411. This is the fewest PUA initial claims filed in a week since the start of the program. Through the week ending Sept. 5, 441,179 PUA initial claims have been filed.

PUA continued claims totaled 99,397 in the week ending Sept. 5, a decline of 11,459, or 10.3%, from the previous week’s revised total of 110,856. 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 25,898 claims filed in the week, an increase of 2,138 claims from a week ago. In the next several weeks, PEUC claims are expected to increase significantly as large cohorts of regular program filers exhaust their regular 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 3,187 claims filed in the week, an increase of 298 claims from a week ago.

Nationally, the advance figure for unadjusted regular initial claims was 857,148 an increase of 20,140 claims from the previous week. The national insured unemployment rate for the week ending August 29 was 9.0% percent, unchanged from the previous week’s rate. The national rate is reported with a one-week lag.

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