Statewide the number of unemployment insurance claims remains high.
The number of total new claims filed for unemployment benefits in Utah was 4,574 for the week of Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2020 with a total of $15 million in benefits paid out.
There were 40,390 continued claims filed during that same week, according to a press release from the Department of Workforce Services.
In 2019 the weekly average of new unemployment claims in 2019 was 1,131, making the Sept. 27 to Oct. 3, 2020 claims a 305% increase over the 2019 benchmark.
The continued claims for that same week were 356% over the 2019 baseline average of 8,856 claims.
“New claims for unemployment benefits remain high and have remained at fairly constant level for the last several weeks,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “The department does expect new claims to increase over the next few months due to the seasonal workforce in the state of Utah; however, it is also clear the pandemic continues to be disruptive to employment.”
First time claims for unemployment insurance spiked in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have fallen off, but continue to trend higher than the level of claims during the Great Recession. Leisure/hospitality, healthcare/social services, and retail trade are responsible for the highest number of new claims, according to the DSW website.