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DETR says little change in initial claims, PUA initial claims increase

DETR
Posted at 11:42 AM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 14:42:59-05

CARSON CITY (KTNV) — For the week ending Jan. 23, initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) totaled 10,105, down 369 claims, or 3.5%, compared to the previous week’s total of 10,474 claims, according to finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). Through the week ending January 23, there have been a total of 824,317 initial claims filed since the week ending March 14, 2020.

Continued claims, which represent the current number of insured unemployed workers filing weekly for unemployment insurance benefits, totaled 80,927 claims, a decrease of 268 claims, or 0.3%, from the previous week’s total of 81,195. Continued claims have seen little change over the last 5 weeks.

Nevada’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides additional weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, saw 69,128 claims filed in the week, a decline of 5,039 claims from last week’s total of 74,167. The passage of HR 133, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, updated the number of available benefit weeks for the PEUC program. Originally 13 weeks, starting the week ending January 2, claimants may be eligible for up to an additional 11 weeks of PEUC in certain circumstances.

Nevada’s State Extended Benefit (SEB) program, which provides additional benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular and PEUC program benefits, saw 59,781 claims filed in the week, an increase of 6,845 claims from a week ago. New guidance from the Department of Labor may require DETR to change the sequence of applying and paying out SEB 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 (also known as covered employment), was 6.1%, virtually unchanged from the previous week’s rate. Including claimants in the benefit extension programs, the rate, more appropriately called the extended insured unemployment rate, was 15.8%. 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 111,662 initial claims filed in the week ending January 23, an increase of 55,084 claims, or 97.4%, from last week’s total of 56,578. Initial applications for the PUA program continue to be highly variable due to ongoing high levels of fraudulent applications. Through the week ending Jan. 23, there have been a total of 962,284 PUA initial claims filed.

There were 91,252 PUA continued claims filed in the week ending Jan. 23, an increase of 11,264 claims, or 14.1%, from the previous week’s revised total of 79,988. This is the first increase in PUA continued claims since the week ending October 31, 2020.