New Utah unemployment claim numbers released, down week to week

Photo: https://dfcm.utah.gov/

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 16, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah’s new unemployment claims for the week of April 5 to 11 numbered 24,171, down 27% from the week before, but still up 2,037% from the 2019 weekly average.

There were 74,441 weekly claims filed during that same week, ending April 11.

The weekly report from the Utah Department of Workforce Services says a total of $11,661,720 was paid in traditional unemployment benefits, reflecting payments going out and claims being processed in the midst of a record volume.

It was the first week of the CARES Act $600 weekly stimulus being available. An additional $6,445,260 of this stimulus was paid out to claimants, for a total of $18,106,980 in unemployment benefits for the week.

Source: Utah Department of Workforce Services

As announced on Wednesday, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance as part of the CARES Act is now available for Utahns to apply. This program will extend benefits to individuals previously ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits such as self-employed or gig economy workers. For a list of other potentially eligible individuals visit the CARES Act and Unemployment Insurance FAQ.

Another resource available to all claimants is the “Am I Eligible?” feature on jobs.utah.gov. Any claimant can enter their Social Security Number; if it comes back with an eligible monetary decision the claimant should apply for unemployment, ineligible decisions should apply for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance.

Claimants should expect 21 to 30 days for the processing of all applications and should continue filing a weekly claim available on Sundays. To apply visit jobs.utah.gov/covid19.

“I am proud of the continued work by our unemployment insurance team through unprecedented times and workloads,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services, in a prepared statement.

“Our priority remains processing claims and providing Utahns with the benefits they’re in need of. We are accomplishing this as the benefits going out continue to grow and two new federal programs have been created and made available.”

The number of people who ended their unemployment insurance claim on April 4, 2020 was 1,022. A total of 1,112 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 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 (12%)
  • Food Preparation and serving (9.5%)

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

  • Salt Lake (39.6%)
  • Utah (13.8%)
  • Weber (9.9%)
  • Davis (9.5%)
  • Washington (4.8%)

If a person’s employment has been impacted by COVID-19, he or she should visit
jobs.utah.gov/covid19 to find resources and regularly updated FAQs as the department recognizes this is the first time for many filing for unemployment benefits. Workshops are also available twice daily to help with this process.

People should apply online and take the time to complete their application fully. The
division will contact the claimant if there is a need for additional information to process their claim; there is not a need for the claimant to contact the division.

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