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Business and Economy

Maine Avoids Sharp Increase In Unemployment Claims

First-time claims for state unemployment benefits in Maine, totaled 1,201 in the week that ended July 17. That was an increase of just 32, or about 3%, from the week before. Nationally, the first-time claims rose by almost 14%, or some 51,000 additional first time claims for benefits.

Maine did see first-time claims for federally-funded unemployment benefits rise to 143 to 63. Those benefits, the so-called "Pandemic Unemployment Assistance," go to freelancers, gig economy workers, and others who don't normally qualify for state unemployment benefits. That program is to end in early September.