Another big drop reported in New Hampshire unemployment claims
Lowest number of new weekly filings recorded since before pandemic
Granite Staters were returning to work in larger numbers even before Gov. Chris Sununu’s announcement that he would be cutting federal unemployment benefits and introducing incentives to get people back to work and even requiring them again to look for work.
For the week ending May 15, 817 new jobless claims were filed, a 36% drop, coming in the wake of the previous week’s 44% decline, according to federal Department of Labor statistics.
While there is some volatility in initial claims, this was the biggest two-week percentage decline since the pandemic-induced recession. The number is also only 300 initial claims higher than the number reported a week before the recession began.
Continuing claims filed during the week ending May 8 also fell 8.4%, to 17,520, after remaining stable the week before.
Federal continuing claims for the week ending May 1 fell 3%, to 8,630, after going down 5% the previous week. Most of the recipients are self-employed, but a good chunk are those who have to stay home for Covid-related reasons, mainly to provide care to a dependent, but those numbers have been falling since schools have been reopened.
Finally, extended benefit claims also went down by 4%, to 6,501.
On Tuesday, Sununu announced that the state will refuse federal funds earmarked for those out of work, which will cut all unemployment benefits for those with expanded and extended benefits as well as eliminate the $300 weekly enhancement for those on unemployment. That will take effect June 19.
He also announced that the state would use other federal funds to pay a onetime bonus to individuals returning in to work – of $1,000 for a full-time job and $500 for part-timers.
Nationally, new jobless claims fell 6.5% for the week ending May 15, to 444,000, after a 5% drop the previous week.