Initial unemployment claims decrease in Maine, weekly certifications mostly hold steady
AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) -
Fewer initial unemployment claims were filed last week, according to the Maine Department of Labor.
The department recorded approximately 2,200 initial claims for state benefits and 1,600 initial claims under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program.
Those numbers represent a drop from the week before, where 4,600 initial claims were filed.
Meanwhile, continued claims mostly held steady week-to-week. About 59,900 weekly certifications for state benefits and 25,000 weekly certifications under the PUA were filed last week, officials said.
Fraud continues to be an issue in Maine, as approximately 1,300 initial claims and 195 weekly certifications were canceled last week after they were determined to be fraudulent.
In all, the Maine Department of Labor has paid out over $1.17 billion in federal and state benefits between March 15 and July 18, officials said. The department paid out less than $74 million in 2019.
Officials also announced last week that Mainers will have to start proving that they are searching for work in order to receive state benefits beginning August 9. That requirement had been waived at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
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