Virus Outbreak Jobless Aid

A New Hampshire Works employment security job center is seen Monday, May 10, 2021, in Manchester, N.H.

(The Center Square) – Initial claims for unemployment benefits in New Hampshire ticked up slightly last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's weekly report.

There were 950 new applications for state unemployment benefits filed for the week that ended Jan. 1, the agency reported on Thursday. That's 276 more claims than in the previous week.

Continuing state unemployment claims – which lag behind a week – totalled 2,695 in the week ending Dec. 25, six fewer than the previous week.

Another seven new jobless claims were filed for the federal Extended Benefits program, which covers unemployed workers who've tapped out their regular state unemployment benefits.

The extended benefits are one of three federal unemployment programs created by Congress in response to the pandemic. While the programs expired on Sept. 4, jobless workers are still filing claims for benefits.

Additionally, the Labor Department's weekly report only shows first-time unemployment claims that were filed for the previous week, not those that were successfully processed.

New Hampshire has distributed nearly $2 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits to workers since March 2020, when the COVID-19 outbreak began.

The state's unemployment rate dropped slightly to 2.7% in November, according to New Hampshire Employment Security.

The number of seasonally adjusted nonfarm employment jobs last month increased to 666,200, according to the state agency, which is 1,600 more jobs than the previous month.

Meanwhile, the number of unemployed decreased by 1,060 over the month to 20,270, the state reported. That's 11,810 fewer jobless claimants than in November 2020.

Nationally, new unemployment claims increased by 7,000 to 207,000 in the week that ended Jan. 1, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Continuing jobless claims, which lag behind a week, dropped nationally by 36,000 to about 1.75 million for the week that ended Dec. 25, the agency said.

Overall, more than 1.72 million Americans were receiving unemployment benefits in the week ending Dec. 18, according to the report.