New Unemployment Claims Fall for 2nd Week In Utah
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The number of new claims for unemployment benefits in Utah has dropped for two consecutive weeks, according to the weekly report from the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
“It’s promising to see that trend of people starting to return to work,” said Kevin Burt, director of the Unemployment Insurance Division. “I think we’re hopeful with the two-week trend and we hope that trend will continue.”
For the week ending Jan. 23, the total number of new applications for unemployment benefits was 4,535 (compared to 6,814 during the previous week).
“It’s certainly a positive indication that Utah’s diverse economy is recovering even though we’ve gone through an incredibly difficult pandemic—and we’re not done with this pandemic,” Burt said.
For the same week ending Jan. 23 there were also 32,462 claims for ongoing benefits (compared to 30,902 claims the week before).
The Unemployment Insurance Division also reported that 2,383 Utahns stopped requesting unemployment benefits for two consecutive weeks, as of Jan. 16.
After the Continued Assistance Act passed in late December, Utah experienced an increase in new claims in early January and a subsequent increase in continued claims, Burt explained.
In a few weeks, Utah expects to offer the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation program that was included in the most recent federal COVID relief bill.
“We did agree to sign up for this because we think it’s a critical benefit,” Burt said.
Under the program, those who qualify for regular state unemployment benefits while also experiencing a loss in self-employment income could get $100 extra each week for up to 11 weeks.
“We do not know how many people will qualify for it but we want to make sure that it is available to those that are eligible,” Burt said.
To be eligible, applicants with blended incomes will need to show proof that they lost self-employment income. Burt said his office is still figuring out how to implement the program but expects it to be available in a few weeks.
The Department of Workforce Services encourages those whose employment has been impacted by COVID-19 to visit jobs.utah.gov/covid19 for updated information.
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