New Hampshire unemployment claims fall but remain at higher levels

Over 3,000 new filings for benefits reported last week
Virus Outbreak Unemployment New Hampshire

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

New jobless claims in New Hampshire fell last week from the previous week’s report, but they still remain higher than they had been over the last several months.

Some 3,067 initial claims were filed during the week ending Jan. 9, over a thousand fewer than the 4,106 reported the previous week. But the number was over 100 more than the 2,932 reported the week ending Jan 2.

The Jan. 2 new claim total had included some people already on benefits who had to reapply because of changes in unemployment as a result of the new stimulus bill passed by the outgoing congress.

As for continuing claims – the number of people who are already collecting jobless benefits – they rose to 27,283 the week ending Jan. 2 compared to the from 24,203 reported the previous week – an almost 13% increase. While that figure may be distorted by the changeover, but it does appear that the state’s employment situation has been getting worse, not better.

Those numbers reflect just claims for Granite Staters receiving assistance from the state. There were also nearly 18,000 people receiving federal; benefits for the week ending Jan. 2. That includes 10,122 gig workers, business owners or those staying home for dependent care or exposure to the virus.

The statistics show that the hospitality industry continues to be hit the hardest by the pandemic. Accommodations employment is still at 86.5% of last year’s level and restaurants and bars are at 89.4%.

Nationally, there were 965,000 new claims the week ending Jan. 9 – a sharp increased from the revised 784,000 total from the prior week. There were 5.3 million continuing claims, up from 5.1 million.

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