Jobless Claims Rise Again This Week

Yolanda Curtis
August 2, 2020

Laid-off workers in Spokane County filed 1,927 new unemployment claims the week ending July 25, a 3% decrease compared with 1,989 claims filed the week before, according to the employment security department. There were 6,764 filed from individuals who work and live in Iowa and 677 filed from those who work in Iowa but live in another state.

Meanwhile, Congress continues to debate another round of economic stimulus, with Republicans and Democrats differing on whether to extend $600 a week in federal unemployment benefits. "We also experienced a notable change this week, as the additional $600 in federal benefits expired on July 25".

The U.S. Commerce Department also said Thursday gross domestic product (GDP) dropped by 9.5 percent in the second quarter, which translates to annual rate of decline of 32.9 percent.

The money, intended for recently unemployed through the federal CARES Act, was traced to 4,000 fraudulent claims through a number of sources including federal and state law enforcement, Minneapolis-based US Bank and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. The previous worst quarterly contraction, 10 percent, occurred in 1958.

"Pandemic Unemployment Assistance funds are meant to help Pennsylvanians who lost their jobs because of the coronavirus", said U.S. Attorney Bill McSwain of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Unemployment was highest for the week ending July 11 in Puerto Rico, Nevada, Hawaii, Louisiana and NY.

The ODJFS has distributed more than $5.7 billion in unemployment benefits to 764,000 people since the pandemic struck.

Roughly 1.2 million benefits have been claimed, and 96 percent of them have received at least one payment, which still comes out to roughly 50,000 New Jerseyans who have not gotten a single payment.

That includes about 8,813 Utahns who are self-employed or independent contractors who have been made eligible for benefits during the pandemic, DWS said.

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