Maryland extends unemployment benefits by 13 weeks

A closed sign hangs on a gated corridor in New York City. Thursday's report said the unemployment rate in the United States is 11.6%. File

A closed sign hangs on a gated corridor in New York City. Thursday's report said the unemployment rate in the United States is 11.6%. File

In Sarasota-Manatee, more than 68,000 workers have filed unemployment claims since the pandemic began, according the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity-more than 18 percent of the labor force.

The new report also showed that the four-week moving average, a method to iron out data volatility, increased by 6,500 to 1.37 million.

The money, intended for recently unemployed through the federal CARES Act, was traced to 4,000 fraudulent claims through a number of sources including federal and state law enforcement, Minneapolis-based US Bank and the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry. Congress has been negotiating another relief package, but those talks hit an impasse Wednesday, according to The Washington Post.

The $600 benefit expired the week ending July 25. The previous worst quarterly contraction, 10 percent, occurred in 1958.

The accommodation and food services sector saw the greatest number of new claims last week with 3,140, an increase of 5% over the previous week.

Alberta adds 127 COVID-19 cases, 1 death
In Alberta, there are 10,716 total cases - 1,408 considered active, a decrease of 22, and 9,113 recovered, an increase of 130. One person from the Central Health Zone has died as a result of the virus, which is the second death for that region.

A top Utah official said Thursday that in light of continued economic improvement in Utah and elimination of the $600 weekly payment, the state will soon end its policy of exempting recipients from weekly job searches when they report they are furloughed rather than laid off.

While some states have seen unemployment applications plummet from record highs after the coronavirus pandemic roiled America's employment picture, some have suffered stubbornly high job losses months into the recovery.

More than 30.2 million people were receiving benefits for the week ended July 11, down 1.6 million from the previous week.

More than 2.3 million people have filed initial unemployment claims and the department has paid out $8.7 billion in benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in the state in March. The federal government set up the PUA program for self-employed workers and independent contractors who do not qualify for traditional unemployment benefits.

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