The Nebraska Department of Labor announced today that there were 3,544 new regular unemployment claims filed last week, a decrease of 10.7 percent over the prior week, when 3,971 claims were filed. Fifteen out of 20 industry sectors had a decrease in new claims last week. There were 1,570 new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims filed last week compared to 1,496 the prior week, an increase of 4.9 percent. The highest number of new claims filed during the pandemic was 26,539 claims during the week ending April 4.
There were 45,057 continued weeks of regular unemployment claimed last week, a decrease over the prior week, when 50,648 claims were filed. There were 26,621 continued weeks of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claimed last week, up slightly compared to 26,600 the prior week.
Continued weeks refer to the individual weeks of unemployment claimed after a person applies for benefits. Weekly certifications are required in order to claim continued weeks of unemployment and receive payment. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the highest number of continued weeks was in the second week of 2010 when there were 26,075 continued weeks claimed.
Of the top 50 occupations with the highest number of continued claims, 30 have declined by 20 percent or more since the week ending May 9. The top continued claim occupations for the week ending July 18 were waiters and waitresses with 2,319 claims, cashiers with 2,170, and customer service representatives with 1.535.
Benefit Payment and Claim Processing paid a total of $45.3 million in benefits last week, including regular, PUA, $600 CARES Act payments, and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides an additional 13 week of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular benefits. The Department of Labor has paid 126,385 individuals during the pandemic.
The federal $600 Cares Act payments expired with the week ending July 25. If the program is extended, NDOL will issue information regarding available benefits.