Graham Kilmer

Regular Unemployment Running Out

Claims to federal program for those running out of unemployment are rising.

By - Oct 9th, 2020 04:51 pm
On March 19th, the downtown Milwaukee Punch Bowl Social laid off 91 employees. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

On March 19th, the downtown Milwaukee Punch Bowl Social laid off 91 employees. Photo by Jennifer Rick.

The latest numbers from the U.S. Department of Labor show that people across the country are running out of regular unemployment insurance.

Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) is a temporary federal program available to people that are running out of their regular unemployment benefits. And the number of people claiming PEUC has been steadily rising.

The week of Sept. 5, there were 1.6 million that claimed it. Two weeks later there were 1.9 million people that claimed it.

AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist with the jobs website Indeed, pointed out that this is a “cause for concern”, as it signals that more Americans are moving into long-term unemployment.

Meanwhile, the number of initial claims for regular unemployment insurance have been slowly decreasing since the summer. Last week, there were 840,000 initial claims for unemployment insurance. Add to that another 464,437 claiming Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which is for individuals that aren’t eligible for traditional unemployment, and there were 1.3 million initial claims for unemployment last week.

As of Sept. 19, there are 11.4 million people who continue to claim PUA benefits. And there are 25.5 million people claiming some type of unemployment assistance nationally. During the third week of September in 2019, there were just over 1 million people nationally relying on some type of unemployment assistance.

In Wisconsin, 17,359 people filed an initial claim for unemployment during the past seven days. Last year during that time, 3,410 filed for unemployment.

Last week, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its latest monthly jobs report. It estimated that the current national unemployment rate was 7.9%.

Of the job gains the country experienced in September, most were in the food and alcohol service industry. But that sector of the economy is still down millions of jobs from where it was before the pandemic hit.

Read the Department of Labor report here.

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Categories: Business, Economics, Health

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