AUGUSTA - For the week ending December 5, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 3,000 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 1,200 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
By contrast, for the week ending November 28, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,900 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 700 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
Between March 15 and December 5, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $1.7 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits.
The majority of the increase in PUA initial claims and weekly certifications is due to claimants filing for PUA after exhausting their state Extended or Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) benefits. In total, approximately 3,700 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.
About 12,600 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 16,800 weekly certifications filed under PUA.
In addition, about 13,000 weekly certifications were filed for the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program and 70 weekly certifications were filed for the state Extended Benefits program. Weekly certifications must be filed by claimants every week in order to continue to receive unemployment benefits.
The Department has handled approximately 207,900 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 100,600 initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. There have been over 2.9 million weekly certifications filed.
Claims data is preliminary and subject to revision. Claims data can be found here: https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ui.html
Reminder that the federal CARES Act unemployment programs (Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation) are scheduled to expire on December 26, unless Congress takes action.
CareerCenter services are available to help people identify and take next their steps. It is a requirement that those receiving unemployment insurance benefits also be registered on the Maine JobLink, which includes a weekly newsletter for job seekers highlighting opportunities and training.