LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation reports that of 343,000 PUA initial claims filed since the beginning of the year, about 36% have been paid.
As of July 20, about 88% of PUA claimants who filed an initial claim, were still filing weekly claims according to a live streamed weekly update from DETR Chief Economist David Schmidt.
90% of eligible standard Unemployment Insurance (UI) claims filed in the week ending July 11, were paid, while 23,411 UI claims were unpaid and going through adjudication.
DETR also on Friday released data on the number of claims last week -- PUA initial claims decreased by about 27.6 percent from the previous week.
Also last week, initial UI claims totaled 15,550, and increase of about 6% compared to the previous week. Continued claims (for those filing for weekly UI) benefits increased by 3.4%, representing the third straight week of that the number of continued claims has increased.
Schmidt noted that the state unemployment trust fund had enough for paying approximately five weeks of benefits at the current level of claims.
“In the event that the trust fund is exhausted, the state will continue to pay UI benefits under the provisions of Title 12 of Social Security Act. There will be no impact on benefit payments,” Schmidt said.
Additional $600 federal benefit to possibly end this month
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program which pays $600 to eligible claimants in addition to the state benefit, will be unavailable beginning the week starting July 26, pending a decision from Congress.
DETR administrator Kimberly Gaa reminded claimants that filers are scheduled to receive their calculated weekly benefit without the $600, moving forward with no decision from Congress. The end of the FPUC payments would affect hundreds of thousands of Nevadans.
FOX5 reached out to members of Nevada's Congressional delegation, asking how they are addressing the benefits issue on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Susie Lee stressed the importance of these benefits for many Nevadans, and that Congress needed to extend the benefits "as much or more than any other state."
“I have heard from countless Nevadans about how the extra $600 per week have literally made the difference in making rent or paying the bills," said Lee in an emailed statement on Thursday.
"Those claiming that the additional benefits disincentivize workers from going back to work need to understand that there’s no work to go back to yet. More recent job losses in Nevada tell us that we need to extend these benefits as much or more than any other state ... If these benefits are cut or eliminated, that will mean less money going to not just working families, but to landlords, businesses, and communities. The Senate must act now and pass the Heroes Act." - Rep. Susie Lee
Sen. Catherine Cortez-Masto provided the following statement:
I know too many Nevadans are struggling to keep a roof over their head and food on their table right now. Which is why I’m fighting to secure an extension of the $600 federal unemployment benefits, and include additional unemployment, food assistance, health care as well as mortgage and rental assistance in the next relief package. I’ll be doing all I can to protect Nevada workers and their families, and get support to small businesses and the vital gaming, outdoor recreation, tourism and live-event industries that are the lifeblood of our economy. – Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto
Sen. Jacky Rosen emailed on Thursday the following statement:
“The coronavirus pandemic has hit Nevada’s economy especially hard. Behind the disheartening unemployment numbers there are thousands of Nevadans doing everything they can to provide for their families. Since the onset of his pandemic, I have fought to bring relief to Nevada’s hard-working families, including voting to pass several first-of-their-kind federal unemployment insurance programs under the CARES Act. As negotiations begin on the next COVID relief package, I will be fighting to ensure our workers, small businesses, health care facilities, and state and local governments get the relief they need.” – Sen. Jacky Rosen
Rep. Horsford introduced a bill on Thursday that would extend federal unemployment assistance through January. The congressman's office emailed the following statement on Friday:
“Nevada is one of the hardest hit states economically in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic with a record-high unemployment rate of 30 percent ... That is why I recently introduced the Back on Your Feet Act, which would provide critical assistance to individuals unable to work because of this pandemic and provide extra support to workers who are able to return to work safely. This legislation would extend federal unemployment assistance through January 2021 and provide a one-time payment of $3,600 to those safely reentering the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic." - Rep. Steven Horsford