Utah unemployment continues to fall but the pandemic is still disrupting jobs


SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – The Department of Workforce Services released new unemployment numbers. Total new claims filed in Utah were 5.628 for the week of August 16 to August 22, 2020, with a total of $22,919, 481 of benefits paid. There were 60,773 continued claims filed during the same week.

The good news according to the press release sent to ABC4 News, The number of people who did not request benefits for two consecutive weeks as of August 15, 2020, was 7, 537. A total of 7,412 met the same criteria the week before.

“For two consecutive weeks we have seen more than 7,000 people stop requesting the unemployment benefit; a positive sign that many have reconnected into the workforce,” said Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services. “However, we also continue to see over 5,000 new claims a week, indicating that COVID-19 continues to be disruptive and the need for this critical benefit remains.”

The press release states:

“The state continues to pursue the short term stimulus payment available through Lost Wages Assistance. Lost Wages Assistance is only immediately available for three weeks from July 26, 2020, through August 15, 2020. Individuals are eligible if their weekly unemployment benefit amount was at least $100, they were eligible for one of the standard unemployment programs and they were unemployed or partially unemployed as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Benefits will be automatically calculated and distributed mid-September based on unemployment claims received; individuals do not need to call or apply separately for this benefit.”

If an individual’s employment has been impacted by COVID-19, they should visit ​jobs.utah.gov/covid19​ for updated information including help for employees and employers returning to work.

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