Nearly 18% more Lancaster Countians filed new claims for unemployment compensation last week, new data released Thursday shows, rising for the third straight week to 666 new claims.
However, the 17.9% rise is misleading, as an unknown number of the new claims were filed by countians who actually were laid off in March 2020 as the pandemic began, according to the Lancaster County Workforce Development Board.
Their year of benefits has ended, so they are filing new claims in hopes of getting either another year of regular unemployment compensation or extended benefits, depending on their circumstances, the board explained. For more information on eligibility criteria, visit up.pa.gov.
The national and statewide figures also grew. Nationally, new claims (formally known as initial claims) increased 9.3% to 719,000. Statewide, new claims rose 4.1% to 20,600.
However, continued claims for unemployment benefits – filed by people who already are unemployed and want to keep receiving benefits -- tumbled 6.9% last week to 8,200. A fourth of that decline stemmed from claimants who had exhausted their benefits, the data indicates.