Initial unemployment insurance claims down

In June, 10,758 initial claims for unemployment insurance benefits were filed in Nevada, a decline of 3.5 percent from June of last year when claims were 11,144.

Claims rose from May by 6.5 percent, a result that was expected given the consistent month-to-month pattern seen in Nevada from May to June over the last two decades. The overall trend remains strong as the 12-month average, which best shows the level of initial claims, continues to fall and is at another post-recession low of 11,120.

“Through the first half of 2017, every measure of claims activity has seen declines compared to the first half of last year,” said Alessandro Capello, an economist with Nevada’s Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation. “Initial claims are down nearly 5 percent, the number of benefit exhaustions are down 13.8 percent, and the amount of benefits paid for unemployment insurance are down 5.7 percent. The combined impact of all these declines has been seen in Nevada’s Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund which ended June with a record high balance of $886 million.”

Over the next several months, initial claims activity is expected to remain low before rising seasonally in the fall. Initial claims levels tend to increase on a seasonal basis during the fall and winter months and then decline during the spring and summer. An initial claim represents the first stage of filing for unemployment benefits and is therefore most closely related to the number of people who have recently lost their jobs, not the overall level of unemployment. Initial claims peaked during the recession at 36,414 in December 2008, and the low point for initial claims was 9,358 in September 2016.


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