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Utah’s unemployment insurance claims for last week show pandemic still taking toll

Utah’s unemployment insurance claims for last week show pandemic still taking toll on the state’s workforce
Posted at 9:25 AM, Sep 03, 2020

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s unemployment insurance claims for last week show the coronavirus pandemic is still taking a toll on the state’s workforce.

The number of total new claims filed for unemployment benefits in Utah was 4,591 for the week of August 23 to August 29, 2020 with a total of $18,253,837 of benefits paid. There were 52,782 continued claims filed during that same week.

The number of individuals who have not requested a benefit for two consecutive weeks as of August 22, 2020 was 7,190. A total of 7,537 met the same criteria during the previous week.

“The unemployment insurance program has been a critical benefit to those that have and continue to see their employment disrupted during this pandemic, and to date it has helped tens of thousands of Utahns,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “However, it is critical to remember that the benefit is time limited, emphasizing the need for all those receiving it to actively look for work, including those who are considered furloughed. There are opportunities, as evidenced by the more than 30,000 job postings at jobs.utah.gov.”

The state continues to pursue the short term stimulus payment available through Lost Wages Assistance. Lost Wages Assistance is only immediately available for three weeks from July 26, 2020, through August 15, 2020.

Individuals are eligible if their weekly unemployment benefit amount was at least $100, they were eligible for one of the standard unemployment programs and they were unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Benefits will be automatically calculated and distributed mid-September based on unemployment claims already received; individuals do not need to call or apply separately for this benefit.

Burt’s weekly news conference to go over the latest numbers and trends will be streamed live at 9:30 a.m. Thursday on the FOX 13 webpage and Facebook page.