More than $1.4 billion in unemployment benefits paid in Washington state

25 Avril, 2020, 05:09 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Provided by CBS Baltimore

The Department of Labor is streamlining standards for the 18,000 -20,000 pending unemployment claims.

The agency has received more than 140,000 claims for regular unemployment benefits since March 1. This is the first week in the past five weeks that restaurant and hotel employees did not have the most claims, Rooney said. The percentage is a stark contrast to numerous state's Southern neighbors, which have fewer unemployment claims as a percentage of the workforce than other regions.

More than 67,000 Coloradans filed for unemployment last week, bringing the number over the last four weeks to almost 280,000.

El Paso County had some of the highest unemployment claims in the state, with Denver, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Adams counties rounding out the top five.

The department has paid out more than $900,000 in benefits since Saturday night, bringing the total unemployment benefits payout to almost $1.4 billion, LeVine said. The challenge for the department is to determine eligibility requirements, namely that someone has lost their job through no fault of their own and that they are able, available and willing to work. The department had 225 workers a month ago.

The department is also developing a new web-based system to process these newly eligible claims.

In addition, more than 400,000 unemployment claimants in OH began receiving weekly $600 supplements this week in addition to their regular benefits as a part of the new federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (PUC) program.

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Fortman believes that many of those who receive denials will be eligible when the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program takes effect in ME, particularly independent contractors, self-employed workers and those who didn't meet the earnings threshold for the past five calendar quarters.

Fortman said her department will announce a firm timetable early next week for accepting applications under the expanded eligibility program.

Many will receive information about their claim by Saturday. This reflects the impacts of closures of restaurants and similar businesses related to the pandemic.

Weekly initial claims in MA during the coronavirus era peaked at 181,423 between March 22 and March 28.

According to the release, the sectors with the most initial claims last week included Accommodation and Food Services, 67,774 (334,659 over the last four weeks), Health Care and Social Assistance, 31,266, Retail Trade, 30,672, Manufacturing, 28,597, and Administrative and Support Services, 18,140.

Multnomah (6,800), Washington (4,000), and Lane (2,900) counties had the largest number of claims last week.

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