New weekly jobless claims increase while continued claims decline, report says

New weekly jobless claims increase while continued claims decline, report says

SALT LAKE CITY — It’s a mixed bag for Utah’s unemployment filings: a few more Utahns made new requests for jobless benefits as well as extended benefits, but the number of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance filings declined during the same week.

Total new claims for unemployment assistance in the Beehive State registered at 3,289 for the week of Feb. 28 through March 6 — up from 3,113 the prior week, according to the state Department of Workforce Services on Thursday. In contrast, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims fell just over 10% to 435 from 484 last week.

During that same time-frame, there were 31,701 continued claims made, the agency reported, 800 fewer than the week before.

“Weekly continued unemployment claims have decreased for five consecutive weeks, as we see Utah’s economy continue to get stronger and people successfully return to work,” said Unemployment Insurance Division Director Kevin Burt. “The federally funded unemployment stimulus benefits were set to expire on March 13; however, it appears many of these benefits will be extended with the recently passed American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.”

The new law got final congressional approval Wednesday and is expected to be signed by President Joe Biden on Friday.

Once signed by the president, the U.S. Department of Labor will provide guidance to the states on the proper administration of the federal funds and programs related to unemployment benefits.

He added that as the state learns more, information will regularly be posted at jobs.utah.gov/covid19.

This story will be updated.

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