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More Than 19,500 New Unemployment Claims Filed In Utah

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Tens of thousands of Utahns filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week, according to a report from the Department of Workforce Services.

New numbers Thursday morning showed that in total nearly 3.3 million Americans have filed their first unemployment benefits claims for the week of March 15 – 21. It’s the highest number of initial jobless claims since the Department of Labor started tracking the data in 1967.

In Utah, 19,591 new claims were filed. A total of 11,321 unemployment insurance claimants were already receiving benefits prior to the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis, according to DWS.

“Clearly, the volume of claims has increased significantly, and also quickly,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for DWS. “… It is important to note that many of the new claimants are still connected with their employer and expect to return with increased economic activity.”

According to the DWS report, a total of $3,697,473 was paid in benefits last week.

The three industries hit hardest were food preparation and serving, which made up 37% of the claim; office and administrative support, which made up 9.3% of the claims; and management, which made up 8.6% of the claims, the DWS report states.

The five counties with the highest number of claims were Salt Lake (47%), Utah (12.4%), Davis (7.1%), Washington (6.2%) and Weber (6.2%).

Those whose employment has been affected by the pandemic have been urged to visit where they can apply for unemployment benefits as well as find out what other temporary financial assistance may be available. The page also includes tips for finding a new job.

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