Unemployment claims plummet as total payout since pandemic nears $1.7 billion

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In the final week of January, the Delaware Department of Labor received 415 unemployment insurance claims in a tight job market.

During the same week, the total jobless payout was $1.4 million, with only 415 new claims during the one-week period.

It marks a sharp contrast to the tens of thousands of claims in the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic that is nearing its second year.

Since the onset of the pandemic, nearly 273,000 unemployment claims were filed with a total payout of about $1.7 billion.

Of the $1.7 billion nearly $1.5 billion was paid out through the state’s unemployment insurance system, with the remainder coming from the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. About 60% of the claims from the federal pandemic program were paid out.

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The program aimed to help those without unemployment insurance. The program and unemployment insurance program struggled with fraudulent claims.

Delaware’s share of the payout from its unemployment insurance program totaled nearly $374 million, with the remainder coming from the federal government.

The state used federal funds that went to the states to pay for the avalanche of payouts and was able to avoid raising insurance rates for employers and employees who finance the system.

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