Louisiana unemployment claims fall; officials apologize for overpayment snafu

By David Jacobs | The Center Square

Fewer Louisiana residents claimed unemployment benefits last week than the week before, though claims still are much higher than in a typical year, the Louisiana Workforce Commission reported Thursday.

New unemployment insurance claims for the week ending Sept. 12 dropped to 16,182, compared to 24,566 the week before. For a comparison from before the COVID-19 pandemic, during the week ending Sept. 14, 2019, 1,806 initial claims were filed, the LWC says.

Calcasieu Parish residents made 2,513 new claims, the most of any parish by far. Calcasieu, along with more sparsely populated Cameron Parish, took a direct hit from Hurricane Laura.

The construction sector led the way for new claims, followed by accommodation/food services and arts, entertainment and recreation.

Continued claims for last week decreased to 250,244 from the previous week’s total of 256,184. State residents made 14,792 continued claims during the week ending Sept. 14, 2019.

Also on Thursday, the Workforce Commission apologized for mistakenly sending overpayment notices earlier this month to about 7,600 beneficiaries. The vast majority of those who received notices don’t actually owe the state anything.

The LWC said it is working with its vendor to resolve what it described as a “technical issue.”