Unemployment claims tick up as Maine battles virus surge

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – Unemployment claims are ticking up in Maine just as the state deals with a surge in cases of the coronavirus.

Mainers filing new unemployment claims increased to about 2,500 last week from 1,800 the prior week, the Maine Department of Labor reported on Thursday. That number includes 1,700 claims for state unemployment insurance.

The number of continuing claims for state and federal unemployment benefits was 44,000, down slightly from the previous week, the Portland Press Herald reported. The state’s unemployment rate was 6.1% in September, down from more than 10% in April.

In other news related to the pandemic in Maine:

NEW CASES

The uptick in unemployment claims comes as public health authorities in the state have said the volume of cases of the coronavirus is trending in the wrong direction.

An additional 183 coronavirus cases have been reported in the state, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The state reported that the number of deaths held at 150.

The new cases brought the total of coronavirus cases reported in Maine to over 7,200.

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