New NH jobless claims fall as number of people still collecting also drops

Decreases reported in both state and federally funded benefits programs
Virus Outbreak Unemployment New Hampshire

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Gig workers may be finding another gig, or perhaps parents are being able to return to work with more schools open. Whatever the reason, there has been a very sharp drop in the number of individuals collecting federally funded pandemic-related unemployment benefits.

Meanwhile, there was a more gradual decline in traditional state-funded benefits for the week ending Feb. 27, though there’s still an unsettling number of newly laid-off workers. And there was another small increase in the number of long-term unemployed people getting extended benefits.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there were 2,196 initial state jobless claims for the week ending Feb. 27, an 8.8% decrease compared to the number reported the previous week.

There were 24,977 continuing claims – paid to people still collecting state benefits – for the week ending Feb. 20, a 1.8% decrease.

You have to go back still another week, which ended Feb, 13, to see what is happening with federal claims, which are not charged to the state unemployment fund.

According to the Labor Department, there were 10,442 continuing Covid-related claims in New Hampshire that week, down by nearly 15% from the previous week. Those benefits go to gig workers, business owners and those staying home for dependent care issues or exposure to the virus.

But the number of people on extended benefits totaled 11,118, up by more than 200. Those benefits go to people finishing up the 26 weeks of state benefits who are collecting an additional 24 weeks in federal benefits.

The state’s unemployment rate for January, based on surveys taken early that month, was 3.6%, a slight decline from the 3.8% in December.

Nationally new unemployment claims ticked up to 745,000 last week, a 2% increase after a 15% drop the previous week, and there were 4.3 million continuing claims, a slight decrease.

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