For the week ending Dec. 5, initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) totaled 8,783, up 2,341 claims, or 36.3%, compared to the previous week’s total of 6,442 claims, according to finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR). This is only the second increase in regular initial claims activity since Oct. 24. Through the week ending Dec. 5, there have been a total of 783,384 initial claims filed in 2020, 761,732 of which have been filed since the week ending March 14.
Continued claims, which represent the current number of insured unemployed workers filing weekly for unemployment insurance benefits, increased for the first time in sixteen weeks to 85,680, an increase of 1,317 claims, or 1.6%, from the previous week’s total of 84,633. This is the first increase in regular continued claims since Aug. 8.
Nevada’s Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which currently provides up to 13 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted their regular unemployment benefits, saw 98,178 claims filed in the week, an increase of 2,318 claims from last week’s total of 95,860.
Nevada’s State Extended Benefit (SEB) program currently provides up to 20 weeks of benefits to individuals who have exhausted both their regular and PEUC program benefits. Nevada saw 16,774 claims filed in the week, an increase of 1,942 claims from a week ago.
The insured unemployment rate for the regular UI program, which is the ratio of regular continued claims in a week to the total number of jobs covered by the unemployment insurance system (also known as covered employment), increased 0.1% points to 6.1%. Including claimants in the benefit extension programs, the rate, more appropriately called the extended insured unemployment rate, was considerably higher at 14.4 percent. It should be noted that the calculation of the insured unemployment rate is different from that of the state’s total unemployment rate.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program, which provides benefits for self-employed, 1099 contract workers, and gig workers saw 61,290 initial claims filed in the week ending Dec. 5, an increase of 52,945 claims, or 634.5 percent, from last week’s total of 8,345. Through the week ending Dec. 5, there have been a total of 719,250 PUA initial claims filed. This marked increase is questionable given the underlying economic conditions. DETR will investigate this latest change in the data to identify any potential trend related to increases in initial claim submittals.
There were 78,977 PUA continued claims filed in the week ending Dec. 5, a decrease of 4,533 claims, or 5.4%, from the previous week’s revised total of 83,510. This is the fewest continued claims filed in any week for the PUA program.