For the week ending January 9, initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) totaled 9,511, up 1,050 claims, or 12.4%, compared to the previous week’s total of 8,461 claims, according to finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). Through the week ending January 9, there have been a total of 803,738 initial claims filed since the week ending March 14, 2020.
It should be noted that due to 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 may 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 78,793 claims, an increase of 1,410 claims, or 1.8%, from the previous week’s total of 77,383. This is only the third increase in regular program continued claims since August 8.
Nevada’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which previously provided up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, saw 71,599 claims filed in the week, a decline of 14,502 claims from last week’s total of 86,101. The passage of HB 133 updated this provision; 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 currently provides up to 20 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular and PEUC program benefits. Nevada saw 47,876 claims filed in the week, an increase of 13,360 claims from a week ago. New guidance from the Department of Labor may 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 (also known as covered employment), rose slightly to 5.9%. Including claimants in the benefit extension programs, the rate, more appropriately called the extended insured unemployment rate, was 15.0%. 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 8,379 initial claims filed in the week ending January 9, an increase of 7,263 claims, or 650.8%, from last week’s total of 1,116. Continued variability in this claim type is being monitored by DETR. Through the week ending January 9, there have been a total of 794,044 PUA initial claims filed since the beginning of the program.
There were 75,105 PUA continued claims filed in the week ending January 9, a decrease of 8,757 claims, or 10.4%, from the previous week’s revised total of 83,862. This is the tenth consecutive week of declines in PUA continued claims, and the lowest reading for any week since the start of the program.