(The Center Square) – New unemployment claims in New Hampshire dropped last week even as the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the state's economy.
At least 3,067 new unemployment claims were filed for the week that ended Jan. 9 – a drop of 1,865 from the prior week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's weekly jobless claims report.
Another 484 new claims were filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which covers workers ineligible for regular unemployment benefits. That’s a decline of 404 claims from the previous week.
Nationally, about 965,000 new jobless claims were filed last week, a rise of about 181,000 claims from the previous week and the highest total since August, according to the Labor Department.
Continuing claims – which are considered a barometer of the unemployment situation – increased to 5.27 million nationally, the labor department said
Overall, the total number of people now receiving state or federal unemployment benefits dropped to 18.4 million.
Meanwhile, thousands of unemployed New Hampshire workers are starting to receive an extra $300 per week in jobless payments.
The money comes from an extension of the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program as part of a COVID-19 relief package passed last month.
The government-funded programs provide federal jobless benefits for self-employed, gig workers and others who do not qualify for traditional state unemployment programs.
New Hampshire's unemployment rate dropped to about 3.8% in November, according to New Hampshire Employment Security.
The state has distributed about $1.5 billion in jobless benefits to more than 165,000 jobless workers during the pandemic, according to the agency.