First-time jobless claims were just under three-million last week. The good news? It’s 195-thousand fewer than the week before. The horrible news? It still pushed the total for the past eight weeks to right about 36-million.
The biggest increases in claims were in Oklahoma, Maryland, New Jersey, Maine, and Puerto Rico. The biggest decreases were Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Washington, and Pennsylvania. But with big number come the risk of fraud – and that’s what’s happening in Washington State.
Officials there have stopped unemployment payments for two days while they attempt to block an onslaught of false applications. To give you an idea of the explosion between March and April... fraudulent claims leapt from $40-thousand to nearly $1.6-million. They saw another surge the first two-weeks of May, hence, the hold.
Source: New York Times