Nebraska Unemployment Claims Stable But High

By 
The Associated Press

The number of Nebraskans filing new unemployment claims appears to be stabilizing but is still far higher than it was before the coronavirus pandemic, according to data released Thursday.

Nebraska state officials received 6,408 new jobless claims during the week that ended March 9, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Last week, the state reported 6,418 claims.

The number of claims surged to a record 26,788 in early April and has slowly trended downward since. Unemployment in Nebraska and nationally has surged as state governments imposed social distancing restrictions to try to keep the coronavirus from spreading and overwhelming local hospitals.

The increase overwhelmed the Nebraska Department of Labor, despite an increase in the number of workers to process claims. The department’s original goal of processing 90% of claims in three weeks has been lowered to processing 75% of the claims in four weeks, forcing some unemployed residents to wait longer for their benefits.

More than 16,700 Iowans filed unemployment claims last week.

A report showed 16,735 new claims filed between May 3 and May 9, a drop from the previous week, when nearly 25,000 Iowans filed unemployment claims.

Nationally, nearly 3 million laid-off workers applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, according to the Labor Department. Roughly 36 million people have now filed for jobless aid in the two months since the coronavirus first forced millions of businesses to close their doors and shrink their workforces.

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