New Unemployment Claims Decline for the Fifth Week

Massachusetts had 55,223 individuals file an initial claim for standard Unemployment Insurance (UI) from April 26 to May 2, the fifth consecutive week of fewer initial claims filing over the previous week.

Since March 15, a total of 777,232 initial claims have been filed for UI. For the week of April 26 to May 2, there were a total of 556,272 continued UI claims, an increase of 5.4 percent over the previous week.

Since April 20, around 185,000 claimants have filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA).

Over the last month, the customer service staff at the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has grown from around 50 employees to over 1,300. The remote customer service operation is now making over 25,000 individual contacts per day and DUA continues to host daily unemployment town halls – which are being held in English, Spanish, and Portuguese – and have been attended by over 230,000 constituents. Massachusetts was one of the first states to successfully launch the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Due to DUA’s previous efforts to migrate their systems to the cloud, the first unemployment agency in the country to do so, the unemployment online platforms for both regular UI and PUA has maintained functionality throughout the surge in demand.

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