Unemployment claims continue steady decline

Sat, 07/10/2021 - 10:30am

    AUGUSTA — For the week ending July 3, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,200 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 1,400 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.

    Overall unemployment continued claims filed each week continue to steadily decline, down roughly 1,350 claims from the previous week. About 9,400 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 9,900 weekly certifications filed under PUA.

    In addition, about 15,000 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, 2021. 

    Between March 15, 2020 and July 3, 2021, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $2.3 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits. Approximately $1.7 billion of the $2.3 billion was paid through federal unemployment programs.

    The Department has handled approximately 267,300 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 113,100 initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Note: Claims do not equal the number of unique unemployment claimants. There have been over 4.2 million weekly certifications filed.

    During the week ending June 26, the Department cancelled 1,889 initial claims and five weekly claims suspected to be fraudulent.