Initial unemployment claims in Nevada see a jump

A vehicle drives by a sign at the State of Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) as the coronavirus continues to spread on April 28, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Photo credit Ethan Miller/Getty Images
By News and Talk Radio 840 AM

CARSON CITY, NV – For the week ending December 5th, initial claims for unemployment insurance (UI) totaled 8,783, up 36.3 percent compared to the previous week, 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 October 24. 

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 percent, from the previous week’s total of 84,633. This is the first increase in regular continued claims since August 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 an increase of 2,318 claims.

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. That program saw 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 percentage points to 6.1 percent. 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 December 5, an increase of 634.5 percent, from last week’s total.  DETR says 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 December 5, a decrease of 5.4 percent from the previous week. This is the fewest continued claims filed in any week for the PUA program.