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Jobless rate drops statewide

Unemployment rates across the state dropped by 2 percentage points, said Jerry Oleksiak, secretary of the state Department of Labor and Industry in a briefing with reporters on Monday.

To assist those without jobs, Oleksiak said the process benefits due the staff has increased to 1,640 employees from as low as 775 in mid-March.

Some two million Pennsylvanians have received assistance through email, live chat, telephone or automation, he said.

Since March 15, $28 billion has been paid in unemployment compensation, he said.

That is $16 billion in federal pandemic compensation or the $600 per week; $5.25 billion in regular unemployment compensation; $5.1 billion in the pandemic unemployment assistance, the $300 extra which ended; $1.5 billion in the lost wages assistance program; $297 million in pandemic emergency unemployment compensation; and $69.5 million in state unemployment extension benefits.

State unemployment officials say an extra $300 a week in lost wages assistance stopped Sept. 5. The state received $1.5 billion of the $2.8 billion available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency for payments.

“At this time, FEMA will not allocated any more funding,” Oleksiak said.

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