INDIANAPOLIS – The number of Hoosiers filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance continues to increase. After a few weeks of small increases, the number jumped by more than 24,000 last week.
In the 15 weeks since the COVID-19 pandemic began in Indiana, about 856,000 Hoosiers have filed for unemployment.
The number of claims peaked on March 28 with 139,174. In the next nine weeks, the number of people filing for unemployment decreased from the previous week. But for the last four weeks, the numbers are climbing up again.
The Indiana Department of Workforce Development hasn’t commented on the reason for the recent increases, as a spokesperson said they couldn’t speculate.
Some unemployment claims are also being placed on hold due to possible fraud. The hold affects people seeking Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which is different than regular unemployment insurance benefits.
The state has seen an unusual increase in people applying for PUA, so a temporary hold is being placed on payments. The PUA is a weekly federal payment of $600. The benefits are mostly for gig workers and is expected to end on July 31.