Utah’s new unemployment claims down 8.4% for last week of May

Department of Workforce Services. Photo: Google Streets

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 4, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — New unemployment claims for the week of May 24 through May 30 dropped 8.4% from the week before, but remain at 342% of the average week for 2019.

New figures released Thursday by the Utah Department of Workforce Services indicate that 4,996 new claims were filed, which was a decrease of 459 claims from the week prior. Total claims, new plus ongoing, totaled 93,276 for the last full week of May, and $25,463,189 was paid out in traditional unemployment benefits.

An additional $47,995,870 of the $600 weekly stimulus was paid out to claimants, as well as $1,235,237 in federally funded extended benefit payments, for a total of $74,694,296 in unemployment benefits for the week.

A total of 1,561 new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims were submitted.

Source: Utah Department of Workforce Services
The number of individuals who ended their unemployment insurance claim on May 23, 2020, was 7,707. A total of 9,772 ended their claim during the previous week, released figures show. As the state continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, this number will help demonstrate the number of individuals no longer accessing unemployment benefits.

“For the first time since the start of the pandemic, the number of new weekly claims fell just below the state’s previous record high of 5,300 claims in 2013,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, in a prepared statement.

“The consistent decreases continue to be encouraging. With restrictions lifting, and economic activity gradually returning, it is important to remember these benefits are temporary and refusals to return to work will result in a loss of benefits for most who are not determined to be at high risk for the illness.”

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 (13.2%)
  • Production occupations (8.7%)
  • Management occupations (8.6%)

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

  • Salt Lake (37%)
  • Utah (19%)
  • Davis (8%)
  • Weber (7.6%)
  • Washington (3.7%)

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

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