AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Department of Labor released its numbers for initial unemployment claims for the week ending October 17, 2020.
The numbers show about 1,300 initial claims filed for state unemployment and 500 initial claims filed for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).
This represents almost 1,600 individuals filing an initial claim or reopening their unemployment claim.
About 15,600 weekly certifications, or continued claims, were filed last week for state unemployment, with another 14,900 weekly certifications filed under PUA. In addition, about 13,800 weekly certifications were filed for the federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program and 700 weekly certifications were filed for the state Extended Benefits program.
In order to receive unemployment benefits, claimants must file every week for certification.
According to the Maine Department of Labor, between March 15 and October 17, they have paid out over $1.6 billion in federal and state unemployment benefits.
The Department says it has handled approximately 193,400 initial claims for the state unemployment program and 94,900 initial claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program and over 2.6 million weekly certifications have been filed.
Fraudulent unemployment claims continue to be an issue. During the week ending October 17, the MDOL canceled about 2,900 initial claims and 22 weekly certifications that were determined to be fraudulent.
The week ending April 4, 2020, had the highest numbers with 30,889 Mainers filing for unemployment.