Utah sees jump in weekly unemployment claims in first week of new year, data shows

The Utah Department of Workforce Services’ main administration building in Salt Lake City now bears the name of the late Gov. Olene S. Walker. The building was renamed during a ceremony celebrating the department’s 20th anniversary on Thursday, June 29, 2017.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services’ main administration building in Salt Lake City. | Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The number of people making claims for jobless benefits in Utah grew substantially in the past week.

The Utah Department of Workforce Services reported Thursday the number of total new claims filed for unemployment benefits was 7,630 for the week of Jan. 3 through Jan. 9 — up 36.5% from the prior week.

The total number of new and continuing claims for unemployment stood at 28,458, the report shows.

The agency had good news for those seeking help — the federal funding for extended benefits approved in late December is now available to Utahns.

“We are proud to announce, due to the incredible work of the staff, the federally funded extended unemployment benefits offered through the Continued Assistance Act are now available for Utahns who have exhausted their state unemployment benefit and remain unemployed,” said Unemployment Insurance Division Director Kevin Burt. “It is important to note that the federal unemployment extensions are for a total of 11 weeks, actively looking for work will remain critically important for long-term stability.”

The Continued Assistance Act was signed into law on Dec. 27. The primary extensions to the state-run unemployment program are an 11-week $300 stimulus payment, an 11-week extension to the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for self-employed individuals and an 11-week extension for those who have exhausted their state benefits. All of these programs are now available in the state of Utah. For more information, visit jobs.utah.gov/covid19.

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The number of individuals who have not requested a benefit for two consecutive weeks as of Jan. 2 was 2,014.

This story will be updated.

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Source:: Deseret News – Utah News

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