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Business and Economy

Maine Unemployment Claims Dip, But Lag National Trends

First-time claims for state unemployment benefits fell last week, but not as sharply as the figures nationally.

The state Labor Department reports 2,055 first-time claims, down 85 from the week before. Nationally, claims fell by about 20 percent.

There was also a decline in claims for the federally funded program paying benefits to freelancers and gig economy workers. One-hundred seventy four people filed first-time claims for those benefits last week, down 30 from the week before.

Overall, Mainers are still filing first time claims at nearly twice the rate they were before the pandemic. In the years leading up to the pandemic, the only time first-time claims rose above 1,000 in any given week was right around the end of the holiday shopping season.