NH jobless claims rose 5% last week

New numbers show increases in applications for state, federal benefits

After two sharp weekly declines, the number of new unemployment claims in New Hampshire ticked up slightly for the week ending Feb. 6.

There were 3,033 initial state claims recorded last week, a nearly 5% increase after two 14% declines.

That’s about six times the number of people being laid off compared to before the pandemic.

However the number of actual claims paid out – continuing claims – went down the week earlier. There were 26,862 continuing claims – the number of people still collecting state benefits – for the week ending Jan. 30, a nearly 3% percent decrease.

Those figures are traditional state unemployment claims. You have to go back still another week, the one ending Jan. 23, to see what is happening with federal claims (which are not paid by to the state unemployment fund), and those numbers are disturbing.

There were 13,076 continuing Covid-related claims – gig workers, business owners or those staying home for dependent care issues or exposure to the virus. That’s up by 2,433, a 23% increase. It’s not clear what caused such a surge.

In addition, 10,009 Granite Staters were on extended benefits during the week, up by 414.

Nationally, claims also rose. There were 793,000 new claims, a 2% increase, after an 8% decline the week before, and 4.5 million continued claims, a slight dip from the previous week.

Categories: Government, News