Louisiana unemployment claims fall to pandemic low mark

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But people seeking assistance continue to report problems with applications and receiving benefits

BATON ROUGE, La. (WDSU) – Fewer people filed for temporary unemployment assistance in Louisiana last week than at any other time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, but claims of fraud and delays in receiving benefits remain persistent.

Officials have not linked the two trends, though the Louisiana Workforce Commission has acknowledged the frequency of what it has called sophisticated hacking operations.

The U.S. Employment and Training reported Thursday there were 6,839 applications for jobless benefits during the week that ended Dec. 5, a decrease of 42% from the previous week.

The last time the claim count was lower was March 14 when 2,255 applications were filed.

The coronavirus pandemic continues to elevate claims for unemployment assistance. In Louisiana, applications were nearly 1.8 times more than the number submitted the same week last year.

As of Nov. 28, 67,637 people in Louisiana were receiving continued unemployment benefits. They account for 3.6% the state’s eligible workforce.

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