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Unemployment claims rise more than 17% in Nevada

Initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 8,461 for the week ending Jan. 2, up 1,252 claims, or 17.4%, compared to the previous week’s total of 7,209 claims, according to data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.

Since the week ending March 14, the first week Nevada saw claims increase because of the pandemic, there have been 794,227 initial claims filed.

It should be noted that because of the delay in the passage of HB 133, many of the benefit programs enacted during the pandemic expired for a short period of time. This programmatic lapse might have introduced some variability in the data.

Continued claims, which represent the current number of insured unemployed workers filing weekly for unemployment insurance benefits, totaled 77,383 claims, a decrease of 991 claims, or 1.3%, from the previous week’s total of 78,374. Decreases in regular continued claims have been recorded in 20 of the past 22 weeks, in part because of claimants exhausting their benefit weeks and moving to other benefit programs.

Nevada’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program, which originally provided up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, saw 86,101 claims filed in the week, a decline of 9,338 claims from last week’s total of 95,439. The passage of HB 133 updated this provision; starting the week ending Jan. 2, claimants may be eligible for up to an additional 11 weeks of PEUC in certain circumstances.

Nevada’s State Extended Benefit program provides up to 20 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular and PEUC program benefits. Nevada saw 34,516 claims filed in the week, an increase of 10,543 claims from a week ago. New guidance from the Department of Labor might require DETR to change the sequence of applying and paying out benefits.

The insured unemployment rate for the regular UI program, which is the ratio of regular continued claims in a week to the total number of jobs covered by the unemployment insurance system, fell 0.1 percentage points to 5.5%. Including claimants in the benefit extension programs, the rate, more appropriately called the extended insured unemployment rate, was 14.2%, unchanged from last week. 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 benefits for self-employed, 1099 contract workers and gig workers saw 1,116 initial claims filed in the week ending Jan. 2, a decline of 3,930 claims, or 77.9%, from last week’s total of 5,046. Since the start of the PUA program, there have been a total of 785,665 PUA initial claims filed.

There were 78,770 PUA continued claims filed in the week ending Jan. 2, a decrease of 5,698 claims, or 6.7%, from the previous week’s revised total of 84,468. This is the ninth consecutive week of declines in PUA continued claims, and the lowest reading for any week since the start of the program.

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