Report: Utah’s new unemployment claims down 12% from week prior, up 455% from 2019 weekly average

Department of Workforce Services. Photo: Google Streets

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 21, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah’s unemployment benefits claims for the week of May 10 to 16 were down 12% from the week prior, according to newly released figures from the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

The number of new claims filed for unemployment benefits in Utah was 6,275 for the week, bringing the total number to 101,389. That was down 12% from the week before, but 455% of the average weekly claims during 2019.

A total of $26,858,365 was paid in traditional unemployment benefits reflecting payments going out and claims being processed in the midst of a record volume.

An additional $48,667,041 of the $600 weekly stimulus was paid out to claimants, for a total of $75,525,406 in unemployment benefits for the week. A total of 2,604 new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims were submitted.

“We continue to be encouraged by the number of individuals ending their unemployment insurance claims as our economy dials back up,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, in a prepared statement.

“We are also encouraged by the consistent number of weekly claims, yet decreased benefits paid out. This is likely a reflection of individuals gradually returning to work and taking less in their weekly benefit amount.”

The three industries that saw the highest percentage of claims this week, as self-identified by the claimant at the time of their filing, were:

  • Office and administrative support (15%)
  • Production occupations (9%)
  • Sales and related occupations (8%)

The five counties in Utah that had the highest number of individuals file new unemployment insurance claims were:

  • Salt Lake (43%)
  • Utah (14%)
  • Davis (8%)
  • Weber (7%)
  • Washington (4%)

The number of individuals who ended their unemployment insurance claim on May 9, 2020 was 6,583, the report says. A total of 4,176 ended their claim during the previous week. As the state continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, this number will help demonstrate the number of individuals no longer accessing unemployment benefits, the report says.

Traditional Unemployment Insurance Claims

May 10-16

Total New Claims

% Change

(+/-)

Total Weekly Claims

% Change

(+/-)

State Benefits

Paid

% Change

(+/-)

$600 Stimulus Paid

05/10/20 to 05/16/20

6,275

101,389

$26,858,365

$48,667,041

Combined Benefits

$75,525,406

Week over Week

7,135

-12%

106,377

-5%

$27,845,417

-3.5%

$50,711,110

Average Weekly 2019

1,131

455%

8,856

1,045%

$2,876,354

834%

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claims

May 10-16

Total Combined Claims

March 15 to May 16, 2020

Total New Claims

% Change

(+/-)

Total Benefits Paid

% Change

(+/-)

Total Claims

Total Benefits Paid

05/10/20 to 05/16/20

2,604

$5,688,924

Traditional

160,285

$382,758,711

Week over Week

2,787

-6.6%

$3,603,951

58%

PUA

24,368

$11,045,766

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Anyone whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 is encouraged to visit jobs.utah.gov/covid19 for updated information including help for employees and employers returning to work.

CARES Act

The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program is now available for Utahns, a statement from the Department of Workforce Services says.

This is the fifth and final CARES Act program to be implemented in the state. PEUC will allow eligible individuals who have exhausted their benefits to receive up to 13 weeks of additional unemployment benefits, the statement says.

Eligible individuals are those who were receiving unemployment benefits, but reached their maximum eligible weeks, losing those benefits while remaining unemployed.

“We are proud to have created and made available the final program of the CARES Act,” Burt says in a prepared statement.

“Our staff has worked diligently to get these critical new programs implemented in the midst of processing record-breaking claim volumes. Utah continues to stand out nationally for our unemployment insurance response throughout the pandemic as we get benefits to those in need.”

Those who have already exhausted their benefits and have stopped filing weekly claims are directed to visit jobs.utah.gov/ui/home/initialclaims and select “File New or Reopen Claim” to complete a claims application. The system will then determine if the individual is eligible for an extension.

Applicants may be eligible for retroactive extended benefits back to March 29, 2020. This is a federally funded and regulated program. Benefits paid will not be taken from Utah’s unemployment insurance trust fund.

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