Massachusetts Sees Another 38,000 New Unemployment Claims

  • Massachusetts Sees Another 38,000 New Unemployment Claims

Massachusetts Sees Another 38,000 New Unemployment Claims

Claims for unemployment compensation during the coronavirus pandemic have topped 500,000 in Alabama.

Last week, the GDOL issued over $55 million in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments to individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099 independent contractors, employees of churches, employees of non-profits, or those with limited work history who do not qualify for state unemployment benefits.

California and NY between them paid around $4.5 billion, compared to around $654 million as of April, 2019, and around $660 million in February of this year.

If an applicant is in the middle of receiving normal unemployment relief, then they will not receive relief under a PEUC claim.

The Maine labor department now separates initial claims for state unemployment and the federal assistance program in its weekly reporting, it said.

The U.S. Labor Department reported on Thursday another 2.4 million people filed for unemployment benefits for the first time last week, bringing total filings since mid-March to almost 39 million.

With the initial claims numbers being distorted by processing issues, attention has shifted to the number of people staying on unemployment benefits rolls. That's roughly equivalent to all of the initial claims filed during the Great Recession, from December 2007 through June 2009. Its Employment Security Department said Thursday that a fraud scheme has led to hundreds of millions of dollars in unemployment benefits going to impostors, according to the Associated Press.

"Net, net, the states may be opening back up, but the labor market is still closed for millions across America and the loss of the income and spending of those without jobs will be a considerable headwind for this economic recovery", said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank. That's more than 11 percent points higher than the previous month, and also higher than the April, 2019, rate by the same margin.

The enormous influx of claims has overwhelmed state unemployment offices. The economy lost a record 20.5 million jobs in April. 132,888 PUA applications were processed and were eligible for payment.

Continuing claims surged 2.525 million to a record 25.073 million in the week ending May 9.

"Given what's going on is not part of any typical seasonal pattern or anything, I think the NSA data has given you probably a little bit better of a more accurate picture of what's going on in the data", Luzzetti said.