Weekly unemployment claims continue to decline

Thu, 07/15/2021 - 11:15am

    AUGUSTA — For the week ending July 10, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 1,200 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance, and 60 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 1,300 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.

    Overall unemployment continued claims filed each week continue to steadily decline, down roughly 1,300 claims from the previous week. About 9,000 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 9,600 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 3,200 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 10, 2021, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $2.3 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits. Approximately $1.76 billion of the $2.3 billion was paid through federal unemployment programs.

    The Department has handled approximately 268,500 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 113,200 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 July 10, the Department cancelled 253 initial claims suspected to be fraudulent.