Montana Unemployment Applications Decline, 47K Out of Work

The number of new applications for job assistance submitted in Montana last week fell to 2,874

By Associated Press

HELENA – Applications for unemployment payments in Montana declined last week as the state continues to lift closures put in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, officials said Thursday,

The number of new applications for job assistance submitted in Montana last week fell to 2,874, according to the U.S. Employment and Training Administration.

That’s a decrease of nearly 25% from the 3,821 claims filed a week earlier, but an increase of nearly 280% from the number of applications submitted at the same time last year.

Montana has processed 108,572 claims for unemployment since March 14. That represents 23.8% of the total workforce eligible for the unemployment insurance program.

The maximum weekly unemployment benefit for Montana workers is $1,152, which includes the $600 federal supplement added as economic fallout from the coronavirus hit the U.S. hard.

As of May 23, 47,350 Montana residents were receiving unemployment benefits, which is 10.4% of all eligible employees.

The state made over 49,000 unemployment insurance payments totaling over $48 million last week, the Labor Department said.

Those payments include regular unemployment payments and payments to the self-employed and gig workers who otherwise wouldn’t be eligible for unemployment coverage.

“As the phased reopening of Montana’s economy continues, we expect to see more Montanans returning to work,” said Brenda Nordlund, acting director of the state’s Department of Labor and Industry.

Nationally, nearly 1.9 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week and 21.5 million people received jobless aid, federal officials said.

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