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FILE (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
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New Utah Unemployment Claims Rise, Continued Claims Drop For Ninth Week In A Row

FILE (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – New jobless claims rose slightly in Utah, mirroring national unemployment trends, but continued claims dropped for the ninth consecutive week, according to officials with the Utah Department of Workforce Services.

The number of total new claims filed for unemployment benefits in Utah last week was 4,783. That’s an increase of 807 from the 3,976 Utahns who filed during the week ending March 27.

However, the number of continuing claims dropped from 28,388 to 27,261 — a change of 1,127.

“A need for the critical unemployment benefit remains, as we continue to see some disruption to employment in the state,” said Kevin Burt, director of the Unemployment Insurance Division for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “However, that need continues to decrease, as we have seen continued claims for assistance decrease for nine consecutive weeks.”

Nationally, the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose by 16,000 last week to 744,000.

US Jobless Claims Up To 744K As Virus Still Forces Layoffs

While those numbers have dropped significantly since last year, they remain high by historical standards.

Utah averaged under 1,200 new unemployment claims and under 9,000 continuing claims and national weekly applications typically remained below 220,000 a week before the pandemic erupted.

But officials said the economy has been strengthening by nearly every measure. The U.S. added 916,000 new jobs in March — the most since August — and the unemployment rate declined from 6.2% to 6%.

If an individual’s employment has been impacted by COVID-19, they should visit jobs.utah.gov/covid19 for updated information including help for employees and employers returning to work.

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