State jobless claims up by nearly a third last week

By The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly a third more Indiana workers filed initial unemployment claims last week compared to the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

The number of new claims totaled 31,885 during the week of June 20, compared to an adjusted number of 24,017 the week before, the department reported. That's an increase of 7,868.

The total number of Indiana workers receiving jobless benefits during the week ending June 13 fell by about 5,000 to 206,265 from 211,255 the week before, the department said.

Nationally, the number of laid-off workers who applied for unemployment benefits declined slightly, to 1.48 million last week, the 12th straight drop and a sign that layoffs are slowing while still high.

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Indiana typically saw fewer than 3,000 initial unemployment claims per week. After peaking at more than 146,00 initial claims in late March, weekly claims had been declining in Indiana during the pandemic until increasing the past three weeks, the Indianapolis Business Journal reported.

Thursday’s report also showed that an additional 17,439 Indiana residents applied for jobless benefits nationally last week under the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program for self-employed and gig workers. That was up from 12,016 new claims the previous week. The state reported 209,080 people were receiving continued Pandemic Unemployment Assistance as of June 6, up from 117,441 the prior week.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provides up to 39 weeks of unemployment benefits to individuals not eligible for regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits. Those include the self-employed, independent contractors, gig economy workers and workers for certain religious entities.

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