CT DOL Still Seeing High Numbers of Unemployment Applications

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The Department of Labor is still seeing a large number of unemployment applications during the pandemic, officials said in an update Thursday.

DOL officials said as of March 13, they have received around 675,000 applications for state unemployment benefits, not counting filings for extended benefits. They have processed 651,000 of those applications so far.

The department said they are receiving just under 300,000 weekly claims for both state and federal assistance.

Processing time for new applications is between one to two weeks, officials said. In an exclusive interview with NBC Connecticut, Commission Kurt Westby said the department continues to expand its staff and hopes to eventually reduce that wait time further.

The department has paid out $1 billion in state unemployment benefits, $106 million in Pandemic Unemployment assistance for those ineligible for regular benefits, and $51 million in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for those who have exhausted regular benefits.

They have also paid out $2.1 billion in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which represents the $600 in additional weekly benefits. That expires on July 25.

New numbers released Thursday show that overall the country's unemployment level has dropped, but that data was collected before some states started rolling back reopenings after a spike in coronavirus cases.

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