Weekly unemployment claims continue to decrease statewide

Thu, 09/09/2021 - 8:45am

    AUGUSTA — For the week ending September 4, the Maine Department of Labor recorded about 700 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 900 people were filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.

    Overall, weekly unemployment claims continue to decrease. About 6,800 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 8,200 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 2,800 unemployment claimants reported having partial earnings for the week. 

    Between March 15, 2020 and September 4, 2021, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $2.4 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits. Approximately $1.8 billion of the $2.4 billion was paid through federal unemployment programs.

    The Department has handled approximately 275,100 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 114,200 initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. Note: Claims do not equal the number of unique unemployment claimants. There have been over 4.5 million weekly certifications filed.

    During the week ending September 4, the Department cancelled 117 initial claims suspected to be fraudulent.