Jobless claims continue to fall in NH

Most recent data shows strong drops in number of new and continuing filings

Ap 20107683994269The number of initial an continuing unemployment claims in New Hampshire is still falling at a substantial clip, though both are still far above pre-pandemic levels

According to the latest data released Thursday morning by the U.S. Labor Department, new claims in New Hampshire for the week ending Aug. 29 fell 17%, to 2,137, after going down 13% the week before. That’s still roughly four times the number of people losing jobs before the pandemic hit.

Nationally, another 881,000 Americans filed initial claims for benefits last week on a seasonally adjusted basis. It was the first time in a month that fewer than 1 million filed claims.

In New Hampshire, continuing claims for the week ending Aug. 21 were down 3,371 to 43,967, an 8% decrease, compared to a 6% decline the week before and a 5.5% decrease nationally.

Still, that’s more than twice the number of those collecting unemployment before the pandemic. But roughly twice as many people are going back to work than are losing jobs.

Many of those receiving benefits as of Aug. 21 are still waiting for the three weeks of $300 federal enhancements they were scheduled to receive as of Aug. 1.

On Tuesday, Gov. Chris Sununu said that the holdup was due to the involvement of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where the funds are coming from, and that the Department of Employment Security needed to adjust its computer system to accommodate that.

It’s unclear how long the enhancement will last, because after three weeks, it enhancement will be approved on a week-by-week basis to ensure that FEMA has at least $25 billion to deal with other emergencies.

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