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Business and Economy

Another 7,400 Mainers File For Unemployment Benefits, As Claims Mount

Robert F. Bukaty
Associated Press
A couple walks by a row of closed motels, Wednesday, April 29, 2020, in Old Orchard Beach, Maine.

Updated April 30, 2020 at 2:31 p.m. ET.

More than 7,400 Mainers filed last week for unemployment benefits.  That's according to new figures released Thursday by Maine's Department of Labor. They indicate that during the week ending April 25, some 7,420 Mainers filed unemployment claims. That's fewer than the 11,561 filed the week before, but still far higher than average.  

During the past six weeks, as the coronavirus has spread across the state, 108,511 Maine workers filed unemployment insurance claims.  At a press briefing Thursday with Maine CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah, Maine Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said $200 million in claims has already been paid out to 70,000 Mainers.

That tally does not include self-employed workers, who haven't yet been able to apply for benefits.  Fortman said self-employed people will be allowed to begin filing applications on Friday for pandemic unemployment assistance, a federal program. 

Eligibility requirements and procedures, and other information, is available on the Maine Department of Labor's website.

Across the U.S., some 30 million people have applied for jobless benefits in the past six weeks.

Maine Gov. Janet Mills this week announced a plan to reopen Maine's economy in phases, with the first changes scheduled to go into effect Friday.