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PUA claims increased noticeably last week, says DETR

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
Posted at 8:26 AM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-23 11:26:51-04

For the week ending Oct. 17, initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) totaled 8,734 down 230 claims, or 2.6%, compared to last week’s total of 8,964 claims, according to finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). Through the week ending Oct. 17, there have been 728,045 initial claims filed in 2020, 706,393 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 tenth consecutive week to 140,132, a decline of 17,073 claims, or 10.9%, from the previous week’s total of 157,205. This is the fewest continued claims since the report week ending April 4 when there were 131,121 claims filed.

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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 (also known as covered employment), fell 1.3 percentage points to 10%. 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 up to 46 weeks of benefits for the self-employed, 1099 contract workers, and gig workers saw 12,537 initial claims filed in the week ending October 17, an increase of 4,040 claims, or 47.5%, from last week’s total of 8,497. Through the week ending October 17, there have been 504,606 PUA initial claims filed.

PUA continued claims totaled 90,120 in the week ending October 17, a decline of 1,678, or 1.8%, from the previous week’s total of 91,798. 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 (PEUC) program, which provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, saw 75,042 claims filed in the week, an increase of 11,491 claims from a week ago. A continued increase in the number of PEUC claims is expected as claimants began exhausting their regular program benefits.

Nevada’s State Extended Benefit (SEB) program provides up to 20 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular unemployment benefits and PEUC program benefits saw 5,868 claims filed in the week, an increase of 774 claims from a week ago.

Nationally, the advance figure for unadjusted regular initial claims was, 756,617, a decrease of 73,125 claims from the previous week. The national insured unemployment rate for the week ending October 10 was 5.5 percent, a 0.6 percentage point decline from the previous week’s rate. The national rate is reported with a one-week lag.

To file for unemployment in the State of Nevada, please use the online application available 24/7 at http://ui.nv.gov/css.html. People unable to file online may file via telephone by calling a UI Claims Call Center between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday and Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon. Northern UI Call Center: (775) 684-0350; Southern UI Call Center: (702) 486-0350; Rural areas and Out-of-State: (888) 890-8211. Claimants are highly encouraged to use the internet to file their UI claims, as it is the fastest and most convenient way to file and reserves the phone lines for individuals who are not able or do not have the necessary resources to file online. Online filing during non-peak hours, such as early mornings, at night or weekends is also highly recommended. To continue to receive benefits, claimants must file weekly.

DETR is actively working with law enforcement entities and the Department of Labor to detect, prevent and address unemployment fraud. Employers and individuals who believe they have been a victim of unemployment fraud, can file a report with the agency by visiting www.detr.nv.gov and selecting the Fraud Reporting Form on the left under “Quick links.” Once a report is filed with the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR), nothing else is required by the reporting party. DETR will flag the account so payments are not issued. If needed, the Department may reach out for additional information. To view what additional steps individuals and employers can take should they believe a fraudulent claim has been filed, review DETR’s fraud flye located on the Bulletin Board at www.detr.nv.gov.

For Nevada workers who are self-employed, 1099 contract workers, and gig workers, Nevada’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program (PUA) is available. For further information regarding the PUA program visit, detr.nv.gov/pua#. Individuals will be able to file online at www.employnv.gov or call the PUA Call Center at (800) 603-9681 or 775-298-6007 or 702-329-6699 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday through Friday, and Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon.