For the week ending Feb. 6, initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) totaled 9,953, up 132 claims, or 1.3%, compared to the previous week’s total of 9,821 claims, according to finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR).
Through the week ending Feb. 6, there have been a total of 844,091 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 79,798 claims, a decrease of 1,093 claims, or 1.4%, from the previous week’s total of 80,891. Little change has been seen in continued claims over the last 7 weeks.
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 62,437 claims filed in the week, a decline of 2,871 claims from last week’s total of 65,308. 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 currently provides up to 20 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular and PEUC program benefits. Nevada saw 70,327 claims filed in the week, an increase of 4,261 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 6.0%, a decline of 0.1 percentage points from the previous week’s rate.
Including claimants in the benefit extension programs, the rate, more appropriately called the extended insured unemployment rate, was 16.0%. 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 35,460 initial claims filed in the week ending February 6, a decline of 34,908 claims, or 49.6%, from last week’s total of 70,368. Initial applications for the PUA program continue to be highly variable due to ongoing high levels of fraudulent applications. Through the week ending February 6, there have been a total of 1,068,112 PUA initial claims filed.
There were 118,806 PUA continued claims filed in the week ending February 6, a decrease of 5,197 claims, or 4.2%, from the previous week’s revised total of 124,003.
Following the passage of HR 133, additional weeks of benefits were made available to PUA claimants which may explain the recent increase in continued claims.