March 26, 2020
Maine Department of Labor Posts Unemployment Claims Data for Week Ending March 21
AUGUSTA - This morning Maine Department of Labor released unemployment claims data for the week of March 15-March 21. There were 21,459 initial claims filed that week, compared to 634 initial claims during the previous week.
The data can be found at: https://www.maine.gov/labor/cwri/ui.html
The most affected industry sectors were Accommodation and Food Services (7,965) and Health Care and Social Assistance (3,588) followed by Manufacturing (1,131) and Retail Trade (1,103).
Claims data is released each Thursday for the previous week; the data posted today reflects claims filed during the week that ended March 21, 2020. These are preliminary figures which will be revised in the near future to include additional claims that are retroactively effective for last week.
"We, along with the rest of the country, are doing everything we can to respond to this historic number of unemployment claims and the questions that come with them," Commissioner Laura Fortman said. We know that the partial wage replacement that unemployment benefits provide is a lifeline for families, as well as an economic stabilizer for our local communities in these uncertain times.
Maine Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Program provides partial wage replacement for workers who experience job layoff, loss or reduction in hours through no fault of their own. Those who are unsure if they are eligible for unemployment benefits are encouraged to apply. MDOL will review information provided by both the applicant and the employer to make a case-by-case determination about eligibility. It is best to apply online, using a computer; the system is available 24/7 at www.maine.gov/unemployment.
If you need to apply by phone you can call 1-800-593-7660 between 8 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Monday-Friday. Because so many Mainers have been impacted, the phone queue fills quickly. The Department encourages people to keep trying. For simple questions or for password resets, you can also call your nearest CareerCenter.
For more information and resources, visit the Departments COVID-19 page: https://www.maine.gov/labor/covid19/, and follow the Maine Department of Labor on Facebook @MElabor and Twitter @maine_labor.