Friday, May 8, 2020

March 2020 Monthly Unemployment Insurance Claims Now Available Demographic, industry and initial claims data by county published

Raleigh, N.C.
May 8, 2020

More information about the people applying for unemployment insurance benefits in North Carolina in March was published today by the North Carolina Department of Commerce.  The new data regarding claims for benefits include details about the applicants’ demographics, the industries impacted, and the number of claims received from each of the state’s 100 counties.

The Department is publishing an interactive data visualization dashboard with this information at

In March, the Commerce Department’s Division of Employment Security received 339,885 initial claims for unemployment benefits, with 282,947 of these claims citing the coronavirus pandemic as the reason for the job loss.  Governor Cooper declared a state of emergency on March 10 due to the COVID-19 situation, and the state has seen an unprecedented uptick in initial claims since that time.

As defined by the U.S. Department of Labor, an initial claim is a claim filed by an unemployed individual after separation from an employer, which serves as a request to determine basic eligibility for the unemployment insurance program.  Not everyone who applies for benefits will be eligible to receive payments.

The information published today also includes continued claims data, a category that tracks ongoing, week to week claims for support.  People claiming and receiving unemployment insurance benefits are required to file a weekly certification that confirms their employment status on a regular basis.  The count of continued claims is considered a good indicator of labor market conditions for the time period covered. The information in the dashboard includes claims filed under the state Unemployment Insurance program, unemployment insurance for federal civilian employees and the unemployment insurance for ex-service members programs.

While the COVID-19 situation continues to impact the state, the Department of Commerce is publishing state-level unemployment insurance claims data daily on its homepage,  Since March 15, more than 470,000 people have been paid unemployment insurance benefits, and a total of $1.44 billion has been issued for those payments.  Commerce will publish county-level and demographic data for April claims as soon as it becomes available.

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