Massachusetts had 27,034 individuals file an initial claim for standard Unemployment Insurance (UI) from May 24 to May 30, a decrease of 10,584 over the previous week. Since March 15, a total of 924,239 initial claims have been filed for UI. For the same week, there were 575,862 continued UI claims filed, a decrease of 12,187 or 2.1% over the previous week. This marks the first decrease in continued UI weeks claimed since the beginning of the pandemic related unemployment surge.
At 54,281, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) initial claims filed for the week ending May 30 were 93,313 less than the previous week. Since April 20, 2020, 573,077 claimants have filed for PUA.
The Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provided up to 13 weeks of extended benefits to individuals who have exhausted or expired their regular unemployment compensation since July 2019 was implemented on May 21. For the week ending May 23, 39,011 PEUC claims were filed followed by 4,242 PEUC filings for the week of May 24 to May 30.
Since March, the customer service staff at the Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has grown from around 50 employees to nearly 2000. The remote customer service operation is now making over 35,000 individual contacts per day and DUA continues to host daily unemployment town halls – which have been held in English, Spanish, and Portuguese – and have been attended by nearly 300,000 constituents.