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Another 1,141 Anne Arundel County residents file for unemployment, 20th week in a row that at least 1 million sought aid nationally

Another 1,141 Anne Arundel County residents filed a new jobless claim last week at the same time the $600 federal payment to unemployment aid expired. Maryland saw 18,268 new jobless claims.

Thousands of people continue to be laid off or furloughed each week across the state, a steady rate seen nationally as nearly 1.2 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week. In Anne Arundel County and Maryland, the number of claimants is declining each week since early June but remains historically high.

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Maryland does not have the authority to extend the federal program that boosted state unemployment aid with an additional $600 a week for workers impacted by COVID-19. Congress is still negotiating what coronavirus relief for laid-off Americans will look like moving forward.

The U.S. Labor Department’s report Thursday marked the 20th straight week that at least 1 million people have sought jobless aid. Before the pandemic hit hard in March, the number of Americans seeking unemployment checks had never surpassed 700,000 in a week, not even during the Great Recession of 2007-2009.

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A study released Monday by Cornell University found that, nationally, 31% of those laid off or furloughed because of the pandemic had been laid off a second time. An additional 26% of people who were called back to work reported being told that they might lose their jobs again.

In Maryland, the state labor department announced it will offer an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance to claimants who have exhausted the maximum period for collecting the benefits as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The state will offer the extended benefits through the Federal-State Extended Benefits program, which is available for claimants who have exhausted both their 26 weeks of regular unemployment benefits and 13 weeks of the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation assistance, according to state officials.

These extensions are recorded as “EB Claims” on the labor department’s website. Around 60 Anne Arundel County residents received an extension last week. The department began reclassifying regular unemployment claims stalled in the state system as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims to push them through to laid-off workers.

The county saw 116 claims reclassified as PUA, along with 401 new PUA claims and 692 regular jobless claims the week ending August 1.

Baltimore Sun reporter Lillian Reed and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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