CARSON CITY (KTNV) — For the week ending Dec. 19, initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) totaled 7,998, down 1,029 claims, or 11.4%, compared to the previous week’s total of 9,027 claims, according to finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). Through the week ending December 19, there have been a total of 800,409 initial claims filed in 2020, 778,757 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, totaled 86,013 claims, an increase of 1,597 claims, or 1.9%, from the previous week’s total of 84,416. This is only the second increase in regular continued claims since August 8.
Nevada’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which currently provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, saw 99,474 claims filed in the week, an increase of 1,265 claims from last week’s total of 98,209.
Nevada’s State Extended Benefit (SEB) program currently provides up to 20 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular and PEUC program benefits. Nevada saw 20,611 claims filed in the week, an increase of 1,906 claims from a week ago. Weekly increases in SEB have been recorded in each of the 21 weeks that the State extended benefits trigger has been “on.” These increases are expected to continue as claimants continue to exhaust the 26 weeks of regular program benefits and move into the extension programs.
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 (also known as covered employment), remained virtually unchanged, at 6.2%. Including claimants in the benefit extension programs, the rate, more appropriately called the extended insured unemployment rate, was considerably higher at 14.8%. 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 (PUA) program, which provides benefits for self-employed, 1099 contract workers, and gig workers saw 13,498 initial claims filed in the week ending December 19, a decline of 33,257 claims, or 71.1%, from last week’s total of 46,755. Through the week ending December 19, there have been a total of 779,503 PUA initial claims filed.
There were 78,922 PUA continued claims filed in the week ending December 19, a decrease of 5,670 claims, or 6.7%, from the previous week’s revised total of 84,592. Applications in the PUA program continue to be highly variable. Future research may help us to understand this volatility; however, DETR’s current focus is resolving claims for eligible Nevadans.