Initial New Hampshire jobless claims fall below 1,000 for first time in a year

939 filings are more than half the number a week before

Ap 20107683994269Just like the snow, those unpleasant unemployment statistics seem to be melting away in New Hampshire. While the pandemic-induced economic winter isn’t over quite yet, spring does seem to be coming on fast.

The U.S. Labor Department reported there were 939 initial unemployment claims in the state during the week ending March 20. That’s more than half the number reported in each of the previous two weeks. While the latest number is still about double the number reported the week before the pandemic recession started, it is a considerable improvement before that first devastating week a year ago, when the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security was swamped with 29,379 claims.

For the week ending March 13, 21,396 continuing jobless claims – filed by individuals still collecting benefits. That’s over a 12% decrease, after a month of single-digit decreases.

As for federal claims – which are paid to gig workers, businesses owners and those staying home for dependent care or exposure to the virus – during the week ending March 6, 9,277 were reported, a 13% decrease.

In addition, 11,433 individuals were on extended federal jobless benefits, paid to people who have finished up the 26 weeks of state benefits, a slight decline.

The economic thaw hasn’t been confined to New Hampshire. Nationally, new traditional claims fell to 684,000, dipping below 700,000 for the first time since the pandemic started. There were 3.9 million continuing claims, the first time that number dipped below 4 million since this all started.

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