Utah Sees Increase In New Weekly Jobless Claims

Aug 20, 2020, 8:52 AM | Updated: 9:01 am
FILE (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Department of Workforce Services reported 5,321 new jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 15 – an overall increase of 467 new claims from the week before.

The state’s rise in numbers reflected a national uptick in new unemployment claims, as the U.S. jobless numbers jumped to about 1.1 million after the claims dipped to below 1 million for the first time since March the week prior.

According to the DWS, 3,004 Utahns applied for traditional unemployment insurance claims last week, up from 2,913 the week before. Another 820 workers applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance – up from 764.

DWS press conference on new jobless claims in Utah

Utah Dept. of Workforce Services holds press conference following report of 5,321 new jobless claims in state.

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Thursday, August 20, 2020

A total 66,984 residents filed continued claims between Aug. 9 – 15.

There was a significant increase in those who did not file continued claims, though. The state reports that 7,412 workers who had received jobless assistance had not filed claims for two consecutive weeks as of Aug. 8. That number was 4,750 for the previous week.

Utah also utilized the Lost Wages Assistance Program, which draws money from the FEMA Disaster Relief Fund. The program is part of an executive order signed by President Donald Trump that provides up to $400 in supplemental aid, with 25% of that being funded by the states.

However, states have the option to provide $300 from the Disaster Relief Fund with no additional state payout, which is the option Utah leaders have chosen.

“We are happy to announce that Utah was one of the first of seven states to apply for and be approved for the Lost Wages Assistance program, providing additional support for those receiving unemployment assistance,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “The funding is currently limited to $300 for a period of three weeks, but we chose to participate in order to ensure Utahns had access to the additional federal resources temporarily available.”

Nationally, jobless claims had been declining for weeks before they bumped up again above 1 million last week. The Labor Department reported continued claims dropped from 15.5 million to 14.8 million, though. Those who are receiving unemployment benefits are no longer receiving the added $600 in federal aid.

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Utah Sees Increase In New Weekly Jobless Claims