Jobless claims drop to 8,000 in NH

Weekly total brings number of claims since March to 190,000

Ap 20107683994269Despite the reopening of retail stores, golf courses, hair salons and some other establishments, 8,333 newly laid off New Hampshire workers filed unemployment claims last week, according to state Department of Labor figures released Thursday today.

The number reflects a 17% decline from the previous week. All told, some 190,000 workers (and business owners and self-employed individuals, who are newly eligible for benefits) have filed for unemployment since mid-March.

Nationally, another 2.4 million claims were filed last week, bringing the nine-week total to 38 million.

The number of individuals actually collecting unemployment is lower than that, since some claims are denied, and other potential claimants find work.

During the previous week in New Hampshire, for instance, when the cumulative total of new claims was more than 180,000, the number of those filing for benefits was 114,232. That was actually down by a little more than 2,500 from the prior week, indicating a slight overall economic improvement, perhaps to gear up for the retail reopenings or perhaps because that week hospitals and medical practices were starting to perform non-emergency procedures unrelated to the virus for the first time since mid-March.

Still, the more than 10,000 claims that poured in that week shows that the economy was, and probably still is, very volatile.

The state’s official unemployment rate in April skyrocketed from 2.4% 16.3%, the highest since local reporting began.

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