Another uptick reported in New Hampshire unemployment claims

But jobs in higher-paying sectors are increasing, state reports

Ap 20107683994269There was an increase in new unemployment claims in the Granite State during the week ending Feb. 20, but continuing claims continued their slow decline at the state and federal levels. And, while the hospitality industry continues to suffer in New Hampshire, other industries – many with higher-paying jobs – are hiring.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that there were 2,408 initial jobless claims in New Hampshire for the week ending Feb. 20, a 7.5% rise over the number reported in the previous week.

In any case, claims still are four times the number they were before the pandemic began.

The number of claims being paid – continuing claims – fell slightly during the week ending Feb. 13. There were 25,424 continuing claims, a 3.6% decrease.

As for federally funded unemployment benefits – which are not paid by the state unemployment trust fund and are directed toward gig workers, business owners and those staying home for dependent care issues or exposure to the virus – in the week ending Feb. 6 there were 12,254 continuing claims, down by nearly 5%.

There were also 10,901 people on extended benefits, up about 3%. The increase reflects the number of people finishing up collecting 26 weeks of state benefits and moving to collect an additional 24 weeks of federal benefits, minus those who are now working.

Nationally, new claims plunged to 730,000, a 15% drop after a 9% increase the previous week and 4.4 million continuing claims, a slight decrease.

Both national and state claims have dropped substantially in New Hampshire and across the nation since the summer, according to another report released Thursday, this one by the state Department of Employment Security.

The industries in New Hampshire that are suffering most are accommodations (down 14% from pre-Covid employment numbers), restaurants and bars (down over 10%) and entertainment, including outdoors recreation, (down over 8%). Employment of office support staff is also down, as many offices are still far from full, In that sector, employment is down by 11%.

However, most of those lost jobs pay much less than the jobs that have shown gains. The average weekly wage of the former was $876 compared to the latter’s $1,366. Among those industries with increased employment are scientific research and financial investment, (both up 6.1%), electronic shopping and mail order (up 5.3%), software publishers (up 5.1%) and computer systems design (up 2.7%.)

 

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