Louisiana Workforce Commission

The Legislative Auditor has cited several concerns about the administration of the state's unemployment program during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic.

New unemployment claims crept upward again in early July, more akin to the surge in jobless claims two months ago than a downward trend that happened when the state loosened its stay-at-home mandate and many went back to work. 

There were 31,417 first-time unemployment claims filed last week, up from 21,976 claims the week before. The increase was attributed in part by the Louisiana Workforce Commission to an end-of-quarter anomaly. By comparison to more typical numbers, only 1,844 initial claims were filed a year.

Existing unemployment claims increased as well to 313,157 last week from 306,089 the week before. Last year, the state only had 17,097 unemployment claims for the week of July 6. 

In Louisiana, new unemployment claims for workers in food services and accommodation continue to lead statewide job losses with 5,172 new claims, followed by 3,594 unclassified workers; 3,240 in retail trade; 3,172 in construction.

See uptick in unemployment claims across Baton Rouge, Lafayette, New Orleans

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Email Kristen Mosbrucker at kmosbrucker@theadvocate.com.