Unemployment Claims in Utah Rise During COVID-19 Situation

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Press Release

The number of new claims filed for unemployment benefits in Utah was 19,591 for the week of March 15-21. A total of 11,321 unemployment insurance claimants actively filed weekly claims during that same week; these are individuals who were already receiving benefits prior to the significant impacts of COVID-19. A total of $3,697,473 was paid in benefits.

Utah’s Unemployment Insurance Claims

March 15- March 21

Total New Claims

% Change

(+/-)

Total Weekly Claims

% Change

(+/-)

Benefits

Paid

% Change

(+/-)

03/15/20 to 03/21/20

19,591

11,321

$3,697,473

Week over Week

1,314

+1391%

11,174

+1.3%

$3,879,139

-4.7%

Year over Year

885

+2114%

10,889

+4%

$3,726,526

-0.8%

“Clearly, the volume of claims has increased significantly, and also quickly,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “The Unemployment Insurance Division staff are working diligently to try to meet this high demand, understanding the significance of this benefit to those that are applying. It is important to note that many of the new claimants are still connected with their employer and expect to return with increased economic activity.”

The number of individuals who ended their unemployment insurance claim on March 14 was 1,508. A total of 1,614 similarly ended their claim during the previous week. As the state continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, this number will help demonstrate the number of individuals no longer accessing the benefit.

The three industries that saw the highest percentage of claims this week, as self-identified by the claimant at the time of their filing, were Food Preparation and Serving (37%), Office and Administrative Support (9.3%) and Management (8.6%).

The five counties in Utah that had the highest number of individuals file new unemployment insurance claims were Salt Lake (47%), Utah (12.4%), Davis (7.1%), Washington (6.2%) and Weber (6.2%).

If an individual’s employment has been impacted by COVID-19, they should visit jobs.utah.gov/covid19. There they will find regularly updated FAQs as well as workshops done twice daily providing information on how to apply for unemployment benefits, what temporary financial assistance may be available and tips for finding a new job. The page also includes an FAQ for employers with questions regarding unemployment insurance.

Individuals should apply online and take the time to complete their application fully. The division will contact the claimant if there is a need for additional information to process your claim; there is not a need for the claimant to contact the division.

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