Unemployment claims rise again in NH

Last week’s numbers show a 13% increase in initial filings

Nhes BuildingFor those who don’t have the time to read long narratives about the one-year anniversary of the pandemic, here are a few succinct statistics that can provide a quick perspective when it comes to the New Hampshire economy:

For the week ending March 7, 2020, there were 495 initial claims for unemployment benefits in New Hampshire. Two weeks later, there were 29,379.

For the week ending March 6, 2021, there were 2,482.

Is last week’s number good or bad? It depends on your perspective. It’s five times the number reported before the pandemic but less than one-tenth the number at the pandemic’s start.

And, nowadays, the week-to-week changes are a lot less volatile.

Those 2,482 newly jobless represents a 13% increase over the previous week’s report. Generally, the number of claims has been hovering between 2,000 and 3,000 for a while now, indicating that we have reached some kind of plateau after some steep declines.

There were 24,819 continuing claims – reflecting the number of people still collecting state benefits – for the week ending Feb. 27, a 0.6% decrease.

The above figures are just the traditional state unemployment claims. You have to go back to the week ending Feb. 20 to see what is happening with federal claims which, after a very steep decline, moved back up again.

There were 10,442 continuing Covid-related claims – which are paid to gig workers, business owners and those staying home for dependent care issues or exposure to the virus. That’s up by 9% after a 15% drop the week before.

There were also 11,390 individuals on extended benefits, up by 272, for the week ending Feb. 20. Those are paid to of people finishing up 26 weeks of state benefits and now collecting an additional 24 weeks of federal benefits.

The recently passed American Rescue Act continues the $300 enhancement through Labor Day, Sept. 6. In addition, the first $10,200 received in unemployment benefits in 2020 will be tax-free for people with an adjusted gross income of less than $150,000.

Nationally, new unemployment claims fell to 712,000 last week, a 4% decrease after a 2% increase the previous week. There were 4.1 million continuing claims.

Categories: Government, News