First-Time Unemployment Claims In Maryland Top 1.42M

Alessia Grunberger

MARYLAND — First-time unemployment claims in Maryland rose last week to 17,734, up from 15,754 the previous week, according to the state's labor department.

The latest figure — which covers the week ending Dec. 19 — pushes the total number of filings since early March to more than 1.42 million.

While the number of initial filings has dropped substantially from its peak in May, it is still high by historical standards.

Prior to the pandemic, jobless claims in Maryland hovered between 2,000 and 6,500 per week. During the public health crisis, however, these numbers have fluctuated between 2,090 and 109,263. The all-time pandemic high was for the week ending May 2.

Of the 17,734 workers who applied last week, 2,838 filed for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) — a federal program for gig workers, contractors, and other self-employed people who otherwise are ineligible for regular jobless benefits.

The jurisdiction with the most PUA claims last week was Prince George's County, with 561, according to state data.

Claims filed for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) — a federal program that provides an additional 13 weeks of pay to workers who've exhausted their other benefits — was 2,163.

The most PEUC claims were filed in Baltimore County, with 373.

In late summer, the state began offering an additional 13 weeks of jobless aid to those who have exhausted both their regular unemployment and PEUC benefits.

Last week's filings for extended unemployment benefits (EB) was 236. Most applications came from Baltimore City, with a total of 36.

This article originally appeared on the Bethesda-Chevy Chase Patch