New unemployment claims in New Mexico rose last week
FARMINGTON — Initial claims for unemployment benefits in New Mexico rose last week compared with the week prior, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.
New jobless claims, considered a proxy for layoffs, increased to 4,158 in the week ending June 12, up from 3,969 the week before, the Labor department said.
There were 4,536 new claims in New Mexico at the same time last year.
U.S. unemployment claims rose last week. Claims for regular benefits rose to 412,000 last week, up 37,000 claims from 375,000 the week prior on a seasonally adjusted basis.
Last week's claims mark the first time new claims have increased on a seasonally adjusted basis in six weeks.
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But that increase isn't cause for concern just yet, said AnnElizabeth Konkel, an economist at the Indeed Hiring Lab.
"While we are not back to a ‘normal' level yet of initial claims, they are no longer astronomically high," Konkel said in an email.
While many states saw a decline in new claims, or a small increase, a spike in claims in Pennsylvania is a major reason for last week's increase.
Pennsylvania's unemployment claims were impacted by upgrades to the state's department of Labor and Industry unemployment computer system, which caused claims to drop to artificially low levels in the week ending June 5, said Sarah DeSantis, press secretary for the department. DeSantis said she expects that new claims will be artificially high over the next few weeks because of the transition.
Overall, new claims are down significantly since peaking in early April of last year at more than 6 million claims. But last week's increase reflects how fluid the unemployment picture remains in the U.S., Konkel said.
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"The COVID-19 situation improves every day, but job seekers are also faced with the reality of child care challenges and the concerning Delta variant," she said. "We are in a wildly different place than we were in June 2020, but we have not crossed the finish line just yet."
Pennsylvania saw the largest percentage increase in weekly claims, with claims jumping by 281.0%.Michigan, meanwhile, saw the largest percentage drop in new claims, with claims dropping by 45.9%.
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