New Hampshire’s weekly unemployment claims drop in latest report

Sign of improvement as clocks continues ticking on jobless benefits expiration

Ap 20107683994269After a big step backward, New Hampshire took a small step forward last week on the road to economic recovery.

Some 1,980 Granite Staters filed initial claims during the week ending Nov. 28, a decrease of 358, or 15%, from the number the federal government previously reported. It is also down by 529 from the previous week’s now-official number, which as usual, was revised upwards.

In addition, continuing claims continued their slow decline. There were 20,618 people still collecting benefits during the week of Nov. 21, 721 fewer than the previous week and 1,128 fewer compared to the revised rate.

Nationally, 712,000 new claims were filed last week, 66,000 fewer than the previous week, and 75,000 fewer than the revised figure. There were 5.5 million continuing claims, compared to 6.1 million reported and revised last week.

For those still collecting unemployment, it has now been 12 weeks since the federal enhancement of an extra $300 a week ended, and for those who have been collecting since March, all unemployment benefits should cease shortly after Christmas, unless a new deal is cut by a lame-duck Congress and president.

In addition, the CARES Act’s eligibility rules for unemployment are set to end Jan. 1, meaning that gig workers and those who have had to stay home to care for their children will have their benefits cut off too, even though they may have started collecting them more recently.

A bipartisan proposal has been put forward in Congress, supported by the state’s congressional delegation, that would restore that $300 extra payment and may extend benefits and eligibility. The proposal, termed a starting point for negotiations, is supported by the President-elect Biden and House leadership. But at deadline, President Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, have yet to do likewise. — BOB SANDERS/NH BUSINESS REVIEW

Categories: Government, News