Initial New Hampshire jobless claims held steady last week

But number of people collecting benefits falls below 100,000

Ap 20107683994269While initial unemployment claims in New Hampshire held steady for the second week in a row, at about 6,300, but the number of people actually collecting benefits the previous week dipped below 100,000 for the first time in two months.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s initial claims data, about 12.5% of the state’s workforce was continuing to collect unemployment benefits, down from a high of 15% at the beginning of May, when the state started gradually reopening after the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

That’s not to be confused with the state’s seasonally adjusted official rate for May of 14.5%. That was down from 17.1% in April and up from 2.5% in March.

Still, initial claims continue to come in, unabated, showing that even as some people are going back to work, many others are losing their jobs.

In the week ending June 13, 6,303 New Hampshire workers notified the Department of Employment Security that they were planning to file, only one fewer than the previous week. Before the economy crashed, initial claims were in the 500-to-600 range.

Nationally, 1.5 million initial claims were filed in the week ending June 13, also substantially unchanged, bringing the cumulative total to more than 45 million since the crisis began.

But the initial claims numbers are a bit misleading, since some of those who file initial claims don’t actually collect benefits, and others return to work. Continuing claims, which lag a week behind, are a better economic indicator.

In New Hampshire, there were nearly 98,000 continuing claims during the week ending June 6, down more than 4,000 from the week before, and down nearly 9,000 from the week ending May 2, when 116,768 continuing claims were filed. That’s roughly when the economic reopening started.

On June 15, the state’s stay-at-home order was lifted, allowing most businesses to reopen and restaurants to start serving people indoors.

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