Steady decline in unemployment benefits filed continues

Thu, 06/03/2021 - 8:30am

    AUGUSTA — For the week ending May 29, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,400 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 100 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

    In total, approximately 1,800 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.

    Unemployment continued claims filed each week continue to steadily decline, down roughly 1,600 claims from the previous week.

    About 10,600 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 12,300 weekly certifications filed under PUA.

    In addition, about 16,100 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 4,400 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. More information, including a walk-through video and “partial benefit calculator,” can be found here:

    Between March 15, 2020 and May 29, 2021, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $2.2 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits. Approximately $1.7 billion of the $2.2 billion was paid through federal unemployment programs.

    The Department has handled approximately 260,700 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 111,800 initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Note: Claims do not equal the number of unique unemployment claimants.

    There have been over four million weekly certifications filed.

    During the week ending May 29, the Department cancelled 350 initial claims suspected to be fraudulent.