AUGUSTA — For the week ending July 31, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 800 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 100 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). These numbers represent claim applications; claims are then reviewed for eligibility and legitimacy.
In total, approximately 1,000 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.
Overall unemployment continued claims continue to decrease. About 8,200 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 9,700 weekly certifications filed under PUA. In addition, about 14,500 weekly certifications were filed for the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Weekly certifications must be filed by claimants every week in order to continue to receive unemployment benefits.
For the same time period, roughly 3,100 unemployment claimants reported having partial earnings for the week. In many cases, people receiving unemployment benefits can work part-time and still retain the $300 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) offered by Congress through September 4.
Between March 15, 2020 and July 31, 2021, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $2.3 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits. Approximately $1.8 billion of the $2.3 billion was paid through federal unemployment programs.
The Department has handled approximately 271,400 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 113,600 initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Note: Claims do not equal the number of unique unemployment claimants. There have been over 4.3 million weekly certifications filed.
During the week ending July 31, the Department cancelled 277 initial claims suspected to be fraudulent.