Unemployment Claims Down, Some Industries Drop With Reopening

June 4, 2020, 6:30 p.m. ·


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The number of new unemployment claims in Nebraska was down last week, but remains higher than the worst week of the Great Recession. Continuing claims were also down.

Just over 5000 new regular unemployment claims were filed last week, in addition to a little over 1000 pandemic unemployment assistance claims.

Those numbers are declining. Plus, fewer people are claiming unemployment benefits on a weekly basis. There were 57,397 continuing weeks claimed last week.

One reason for that decline is the gradual reopening of Nebraska’s economy. Loosening restrictions on elective surgery and hair salons have correlated with decreases in claims from workers in the dental and beauty industries.

John Albin is Nebraska’s commissioner of labor. He said he can’t predict exactly how reopening will affect unemployment in different industries.

“It’s kind of looking like what you would expect, although I’m not sure it’s fair to say what we should expect, because recessions are normally tied to economic downturns that are of economic origin, and this one is a healthcare issue, so a lot of the normal rules really don’t apply.”

Albin said while some restaurant workers are back to work, he expects the reopening of bars won’t show in the numbers for another week or two. Restaurants are currently running at 50% capacity.