Officials: New unemployment claims down; rate still 701% of average for 2019

Department of Workforce Services. Photo: Google Streets

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 7, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The number of new unemployment claims filed April 26 through May 2 was down 23% from the week prior, but was still 701% of the average weekly claims filed in 2019.

A statement released by the Utah Department of Workforce Services on Thursday said 9,057 new claims were made in the week of May 2 through May 2, and that, including claims made by established claimants, the total claims were 107,711 for that week.

A total of $25,978,788 was paid in traditional unemployment benefits reflecting payments going out and claims being processed in the midst of a record volume. An additional $46,980,180 of the $600 weekly stimulus was paid out to claimants, for a total of $72,958,968 in unemployment benefits for the week, the DWS statement says. A total of 4,166 new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims were submitted.

The number of individuals who ended their unemployment insurance claim on April 25, 2020 was 3,305, the statement says. A total of 1,251 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.

“We are grateful for everyone that has continued to be patient as the incredible staff process this record volume of claims and meet this demand,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, in the prepared statement.

“With the state moving to the orange moderate risk factor, we remind claimants returning to work to accurately report wages earned during your weekly claim.”

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 (13%)
  • Sales and Related Occupations (11%)
  • Food Preparation and Serving (7%)

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

  • Salt Lake (40%)
  • Utah (13%)
  • Davis (9%)
  • Weber (7%)
  • Washington (4%)

The department advises people whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 to visit for updated information. New information has been added to help employees and employers navigate the process of returning to work.


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