NH jobs picture continues to recover

New unemployment claims fell 16.5% last week as jobless rate falls

Ap 20107683994269The job situation continues to improve in New Hampshire, as reflected in the unemployment rate as well as a continuing drop in initial unemployment claims.

But the Granite State economy is still in much worse shape than it was before the pandemic. And people who are laid off now won’t be receiving any enhanced unemployment benefits – the $300 extra per week from the federal government, which has ended after it replaced the $600 extra that expired earlier this summer. To give you an idea on how much they will be receiving, the average state unemployment check benefits in August was $260.53.

Some 2,072 Granite Staters were laid off in the week ending Sept. 12, a 16.5% drop from the previous week, but still more about four times the number laid off on a weekly basis before the pandemic began.

For the previous week (which ended ending on Labor Day), there were a total of 39,497 people collecting jobless benefits. That’s 3,459, or 8%, fewer than the previous week, indicating that more people went back to work that week than were laid off the next.

Nationally, the trend is going in the same direction, its just not as pronounced. There were 860,000 new claims, a 3.7% decrease, and 12.6 million people collecting benefits the previous week, a 7.3% decline.

The state’s weekly claims figures don’t count everybody, including people laid off in Massachusetts, but they do count business owners, who have been able to collect benefits during the pandemic but are not in the official unemployment rate.

In New Hampshire, that official rate was 6.5% for August, down from 7.9% in July, and over 17% in April. In August 2019, the jobless rate was 2.5%.

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