CONCORD, NH — More than 14,000 New Hampshire residents filed for unemployment benefits during the week ending April 25. The figure, reported by the Labor Department on Thursday, is still huge compared to a normal year, but represents the third straight week that the state reported a drop in applications for unemployment benefits.
Nationally, more than 30 million workers have filed claims for benefits in the last six weeks. In that same timeframe, New Hampshire has seen its "Covid19 Affected Unemployment Rate" rise to 15 percent, according to a Thursday report by the state's Department of Employment Security.
The report explains that the metric is intended to distinguish the "traditional unemployment rate" from the specific and devastating impact of the economic shutdown, which remains in place while state and local governments manage the coronavirus outbreak with stay-at-home orders and bans on public gatherings. In New Hampshire and elsewhere, that impact has been felt sharply by the food industry; New Hampshire restaurant and bar workers have filed more more than 28,000 unemployment claims, the report notes.
While the latest weekly unemployment data is down 6,000 from the previous week's report, the trend is less dramatic when compared to the state's unemployment history outside the coronavirus outbreak. In reality, the state isn't even in the same ballpark. For the week ending April 27 of 2019, for example, the number of weekly unemployment claims was 832.