By David Jacobs | The Center Square
More people applied for state unemployment benefits in Louisiana last week than the week before, though the increase was nothing like the recent spike that officials attributed to fraud.
At the same time, thousands of Louisiana residents continue to request and collect federal unemployment benefits through programs set to expire before the end of the month without action from Congress.
The U.S. Department of Labor reports 10,830 people in Louisiana made new state unemployment claims during the week ending Nov. 28, up 785 from the week before. The week before that, officials reported more than 40,000 new claims, later stating that many of those claims were under investigation for possible fraud.
The federal government reported 6,428 new claims in Louisiana for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which benefits workers traditionally not eligible for state unemployment, such as independent contractors and gig workers. That’s down more than 3,000 from the previous week. More than 130,000 residents were receiving ongoing PUA claims at last count two weeks prior, according to the federal report.
More than 39,000 state residents filed claims for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation during the week ending Nov. 14, the most recent week listed in the federal report. PEUC is for workers who have exhausted their state benefits.
PUA and PEUC both were established in the federal CARES Act and are set to expire Dec. 26.
Nationally, 712,000 new claims for state benefits were reported last week, along with 288,701 claims for PUA.