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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

(2) comments

Lawrence Baca

Meanwhile, businesses continue to actively recruit.

George Welland

NEW MEXICO JOBLESS SHOULD RECEIVE A HECKUVA LOT MORE THAN $1,500!

The dubious $300.oo a week bonus will NOT be paid in the future thanks to the president that enables his party in the Senate to stop a deal from being made. The reason the $300.00 a week benefit enhancement (paid with FEMA funds) was dubious at best is because it was a limited program than ran only until the money ran out... so future claimants will NOT receive a $600.00 or $300.00 a week bonus, just the state's low-ball (50% of prior wage capped at $496.00) weekly benefit amount that state legislators have kept low at the behest of business lobbyists. Furthermore, claimants that win appeals or payments were delayed, will NOT be paid the $300.00 bonus for the weeks they were eligible because the money has run out. The $300.00 a week bonus was a presidential ploy based on FEMA funding that was a lottery based on first come, first serve (is that how we want to administer insurance and safety net programs?). The real shame is that the state UI program is a cruel joke that's designed to delay and deny benefits... and so poorly administered that many recipients will be told they were ineligible and to pay back what they received (while I'm sure million of dollars of fraudulent payments will just have to be written-off). The only thing worse than the corona virus itself was the pathetic public health response and broken social safety net programs like UI!

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