Unemployment claims ‘continue to steadily decline’

Thu, 05/27/2021 - 8:45am

    AUGUSTA — For the week ending May 22, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,000 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 200 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

    In total, approximately 1,300 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.

    Unemployment claims filed each week continue to steadily decline, according to the Department. 

    About 11,600 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 12,700 weekly certifications filed under PUA.

    In addition, about 16,400 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.

    Between March 15, 2020 and May 22, 2021, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $2.2 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits.

    The Department has handled approximately 259,400 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 111,700 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 22, the Department cancelled 118 initial claims suspected to be fraudulent.