Many New Mexicans submitting weekly unemployment claims should see an extra $1,500 in this week’s benefits payment, according to the state Department of Workforce Solutions.
Workforce Solutions was approved for five weeks of federal Lost Wages Assistance of $300 per week. The lump sum payment covers the weeks ending Aug. 1 through Aug. 29, spokeswoman Stacy Johnston said.
The number of New Mexicans with continuing weekly claims for benefits dropped to 88,125 for the week ending Aug. 29, the lowest since April 18, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The Santa Fe County number of continuing claims fell to 10,644 the week ending Aug. 24, the lowest since May 11, according to Workforce Solutions statistics.
Santa Fe County saw 209 new initial jobless claims for the week ending Sept. 5, the fourth straight week of declines and the lowest since the coronavirus pandemic started in March.
Workforce Solutions statistics show professions employing the largest numbers in New Mexico have been seeing steady reemployment since the second half of July. Health care, retail and offices have seen weekly drops in continued claims since July 11, and hotels and restaurants have had drops in the jobless since Aug. 1.
Even with steady drops in unemployment, tens of thousands of New Mexicans remain jobless and struggling financially.
The U.S. Census Bureau, in the second phase of its new Household Pulse Survey, determined 31 percent of New Mexicans responding expected a loss of income in the next four weeks. Only Hawaii, California, Florida, Louisiana and Nevada had higher percentages.
The New Mexican