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New unemployment claims drop sharply in Mississippi, but continued claims remain high



(Photo by Preetifd1990 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The number of new unemployment claims in Mississippi for the week ending July 25 saw a sharp drop of more than 3,000 from the previous week.

According to information provided to the U.S. Department of Labor, new claims in the state numbered 8,952 for July 25. The previous week, ending July 18, saw 12,094 new claims for benefits.

At nearly 9,000 new claims, the volume is still nine times higher than new claims filed before the COVID-19 crisis. From late January through the first week in March, weekly claims numbered less than 1,000. New claims started rising the week ending March 14, peaking in early April with two weeks of more than 45,000 claims each.

Another 3,861 Mississippians filed new claims under the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides benefits to people generally not covered under state programs, including self-employed, contract and gig workers. The number of new claims under the PUA program also saw a steep drop from the previous week of more than 5,000 claims.

All told, Mississippians filed nearly 13,000 new claims for the week ending July 25, down 8,000 from the previous week.

But the news isn’t all good, as the number of continued claims for benefits remains high. At nearly 156,000 for the week ending July 18, continued claims have been climbing since a recent low in mid-June. Before the COVID-19 crisis, continued claims reached a low of less than 7,000 weekly, meaning that the increase is more than 2,200% from pre-COVID claims.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, more than a half-million Mississippians have filed for unemployment benefits.

Mississippi’s unemployment rate for the week ending July 18 is 11.05%.

Nationally, more than 1.4 million Americans filed for first-time unemployment benefits in the week ending July 25.

More than 17 million Americans are unemployed, a rate of 11.6%. Unemployment remains at its highest rate since World War II.

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