There was a sharp decline in unemployment claims filed last week, according to the New Hampshire Department of Employment Security, which had to amend a report from the federal government that showed an increase.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday morning that 3,777 initial jobless claims were filed in New Hampshire for the week ending Feb. 13, which would have been a 25 percent increase. However, according to state DES Deputy Commissioner Richard Lavers, about 1,500 of them were actually claims related to ID theft, so the actual total was 2,237, a 26 percent decrease from the week before.

Even the lower figure is more than four times the number of people who were being laid off before the pandemic, showing that this economic turmoil, like the virus, doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon.

The number of actual claims paid out — continuing claims — also fell the previous week, although slightly. There were 26,374 continuing claims — filed by people still collecting state benefits — for the week ending Feb. 6, nearly a 2 percent decrease.

As for claims filed through the federal system — and not paid through the state’s unemployment trust fund — for the week Jan. 30, there were 12,891 continuing COVID-related claims by gig workers, business owners and those staying home for dependent care issues or exposure to the virus. That’s up by a little more than 1 percent, but it followed a 23 percent increase the previous week, perhaps many schools were shut and restaurants went into hibernation.

There were also 10,593 individuals on extended benefits, up by 6 percent. They are people who have finished up collecting the 26 weeks of state benefits and are collecting an additional 24 weeks of federal benefits.

Nationally, claims surged to 861,000, nearly a 9 percent increase, and 4.5 million continuing claims, the same as the previous week.

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