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Initial claims for unemployment rise above 10K, continued claims rise in regular

Unemployment
Posted at 12:46 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 15:49:56-05

For the week ending Jan. 16, initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) totaled 10,474, up 963 claims, or 10.1%, compared to the previous week’s total of 9,511 claims, according to finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).

This is the third consecutive week where initial claims have risen compared to the previous week and the highest weekly total since the week ending Aug. 15.

Through the week ending Jan. 16, there have been a total of 814,212 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 81,195 claims, an increase of 2,402 claims, or 3.0%, from the previous week’s total of 78,793. This is the second straight week of increases in continued claims.

It should be noted that due to the delay in the passage of HR 133, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, many of the benefit programs enacted during the pandemic expired for a short period of time. This programmatic lapse may have introduced some variability in the data for these programs.

Nevada’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, saw 74,167 claims filed in the week, an increase of 2,568 claims from last week’s total of 71,599.

The passage of HR 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 (SEB) program currently provides up to 20 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular and PEUC program benefits. Nevada saw 52,936 claims filed in the week, an increase of 5,060 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), rose to 6.1% from the previous week’s rate of 5.9%. Including claimants in the benefit extension programs, the rate, more appropriately called the extended insured unemployment rate, was 15.7%.

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 56,578 initial claims filed in the week ending January 16, an increase of 48,199 claims, or 575.2%, from last week’s total of 8,379.

Initial applications for the PUA program continue to be highly unpredictable. Through the week ending Jan. 16, there have been a total of 850,622 PUA initial claims filed.

There were 75,897 PUA continued claims filed in the week ending January 16, a decrease of 2,859 claims, or 3.6%, from the previous week’s revised total of 78,756. This is the fewest continued claims filed for any week since the start of the PUA program.

To file for unemployment in the State of Nevada, please use the online application available 24/7.