Louisiana unemployment claims decline again as benefit periods lapse

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State officials say the decrease isn’t because most people are finding new jobs

BATON ROUGE, La. (WDSU) – The number of people filing for unemployment insurance in Louisiana dipped last week to one of its lowest points since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Officials say the decline in new claims over the past couple of months isn’t the result of people finding new jobs, but rather that they’re reaching the end of their benefits period.

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits in Louisiana fell below 10% late last month for the first time since mid-March.

Figures from the U.S. Employment and Training Administration show 12,973 new applications for jobless benefits were filed in Louisiana for the week that ended Oct. 3, a 20.4% decrease from the week before.

The state pays out unemployment insurance for a maximum of 26 weeks over a 12-month period, a timespan that lapsed at the end of last month for anyone who filed claims in late March and early April.

New weekly jobless claims surpassed 100,000 in Louisiana on April 4. The low number was 11,131 on Aug. 8.

Last week’s claims applications were 5.6 times higher than claims submitted during the same week in 2019.

As of Sept. 26, 179,449 people in Louisiana were receiving unemployment benefits — 9.5% of all eligible workers in the state.

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