Continuing jobless claims in NH fall again, but new claims rise slightly

State’s employment situation looks mixed in latest statistics

Ap 20107683994269Some good news and some bad news for New Hampshire from the U.S. Labor Department on Thursday: Continuing unemployment claims dropped very sharply, but new claims rose slightly, and both are way above pre-pandemic levels.

In other words, people are going back to some jobs quickly, but loads of workers are still getting laid off from other jobs at a troubling rate.

Some 74,000 individuals filed for unemployment claims in New Hampshire the week of June 27. If you discount business owners, who have accounted for roughly 15% of claims during the pandemic, that is still triple the number collecting before Covid-19 struck. But the number is more than 12,600 fewer than the previous week, or nearly a 14.6% drop. The drop the week before was 7.3%. Given that trend, it’s hard to believe that the state’s official unemployment rate – which won’t come out until next week – won’t go down from May’s 14.5%.

However, initial claims of 5,285 were filed in the week ending July 4,  a slight increase in revised initial claims reported in the week before. The total was only 122 higher, but that is after that figure has steadily dropped for months. And it still is a big number. Before the pandemic, initial claims in New Hampshire hovered at about 500, give or take 100 or so.

Nationally, 1.3 million initial unemployment claims were filed, down slightly from the revised 1.4 million filed the previous week. That brings the total number who have initial filed for benefits since Mid-March to close to 50 million, though not all of them went on to collect benefits, and some have since returned to work.

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