PA Unemployment Claims Dip Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

Member Group : Center Square

(The Center Square) – Pennsylvania’s weekly unemployment claims dipped below pre-pandemic levels, according to a recent WalletHub analysis.

Claims for the first week of August came in 16% below the same time period in 2019 and nearly 65% below the same week in 2020 – the fourth “quickest recovery” in the nation, according to the analysis.

The Department of Labor and Industry said the state lost 500,000 jobs in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unemployment claims – once among the highest in the nation – began tapering off as Gov. Tom Wolf’s economic and travel restrictions lifted throughout the year.

The WalletHub analysis determined that “red states” – those that voted Republican in the 2020 election – showed faster recovery regarding unemployment claims compared to blue states.

Ending the boosted federal jobless payments early, however, didn’t necessarily correlate to a faster recovery. Half of the top 10 states – Pennsylvania, Kansas, Washington, New York and Vermont – chose not to cut off the extra $300 month in unemployment compensation.

The additional payments will end Sept. 4 in Pennsylvania.

Staff Reporter

Christen Smith follows Pennsylvania’s General Assembly for The Center Square. She is an award-winning reporter with more than a decade of experience covering state and national policy issues for niche publications and local newsrooms alike.