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Utah's unemployment numbers offer good news, not-so-good news

Posted at 1:13 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-29 15:14:10-04

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah's raw unemployment numbers are a little better than they were last week in terms of the number of residents seeking new benefits; but for many, those benefits are about to run out.

For the past week, 3,993 Utahns applied for new, unemployment benefits, with $12.5 million dollars in benefits being paid out.

Since the coronavirus pandemic-related recession began in the spring, just shy of 33,000 Utahns have a continuing, unemployment benefits claim. The state has paid out more than $1.5 billion in unemployment benefits since mid-March.

However, officials are warning those receiving benefits to be ready for them to disappear.

"We are 32 weeks into the pandemic when a lot of people saw the disruption and first applied for unemployment insurance." said Kevin Burt of the Utah Department of Workforce Services. "The max number of weeks an individual can receive benefits is 39. It does not appear nationally there’s going to be an additional stimulus benefit anytime soon. So what we’re strongly encouraging is individuals looking for opportunities within the markets proven to be resilient.”

A bit of positive news from today’s report shows nearly 4,000 Utahns have not requested unemployment benefits for two consecutive weeks.