First-time unemployment benefits claims inch upward again in region

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Initial claims for unemployment benefits increased slightly last week in the Mohawk Valley and state, the New York Labor Department reported.

First-time benefit claims in the six-county Mohawk Valley region were 804 in the week that ended Saturday, up from 795 the previous week. Initial claims had decreased in the previous week.

Statewide, claims totaled 66,772, up from 66,735.

Initial claims is a category that includes both new and additional claims, both of which signify a new spell of unemployment, according to the Labor Department.

Initial claims continue to far exceed the normal rate, the Labor Department said. Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased over the past year by 441% overall and increased by a minimum of 24% in each of New York’s 10 labor market regions.

All statewide industries experienced an increase in initial claims for unemployment insurance over the past year. Statewide industries with the most rapid over-the-year percentage increase in initial claims were management of companies and enterprises (+351%), educational services (+340%), other services (+333%), transportation and warehousing (+329%) and retail trade (+292%).

Initial claims increased week to week in the Capital region, New York City, the North Country and the Southern Tier as well as the Mohawk Valley.

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