Initial Unemployment Claims Fall Again in Massachusetts
BOSTON — From April 19 to April 25, Massachusetts had 70,552 individuals file an initial claim for standard unemployment insurance (UI), the fourth consecutive week of fewer initial claims filed from the previous week. Since March 15, a total of 722,009 initial claims were filed.
As the number of initial claims continues to decrease, the number of claimants filing for their weekly benefit each week continues to grow. For the week of April 19 to April 25, there were a total of 527,538 claimants, an increase of 13.8% over the previous week, who filed for their weekly unemployment benefits. Food and accommodation with 93,168, retail trade at 69,333, and health and social assistance with 66,202 showed the largest number of claimants who filed for their weekly unemployment benefits.
The CARES Act created a new temporary federal program called Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides unemployment benefits to individuals who are self-employed, gig workers, and those not covered by regular unemployment compensation. In the week of April 19 to April 25, there were a total of 171,598 PUA claims.
From March 15 to April 25, combining UI and PUA, Massachusetts had a total of 893,607 claims filed for unemployment insurance.
Currently, the Department of Unemployment Assistance is paying standard UI benefits to about 450,000 claimants, and PUA to about 150,000 claimants. Since March 15, nearly 700,000 Massachusetts total claims have been paid, amounting to more than $2.3 billion in disbursements to beneficiaries of both programs.