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Another 20,085 New Mexicans file for jobless benefits this week

An empty central plaza and shopping district is shown amid a public health order that has closed down most retail stores and suspended dine-in restaurant service in Santa Fe, N.M., Friday, March 27, 2020. (AP Photo/Morgan Lee)

Copyright © 2020 Albuquerque Journal

More than 90,000 New Mexicans have filed initial unemployment claims over the past four weeks.

According to unofficial numbers released Friday by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions, 20,085 more New Mexico residents filed for unemployment April 3-9.

They join more than 70,000 people who have filed such claims in the past three weeks, since the spread of the new coronavirus began to prompt widespread business closures in New Mexico.

On Monday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham extended the in-person business closure order through at least the end of April, and expanded it to include payday lenders, automobile dealers and liquor stores. The order also mandated that businesses allowed to remain open must limit the number of customers inside to 20% of their maximum occupancy.

The new state numbers also showed 62,136 weekly unemployment certifications on Friday, a figure that includes people currently receiving benefits, as well as those currently in the system and awaiting determination.

The state’s unemployment trust fund balance currently stands at $442 million, down slightly from $450 million the week before.

Additionally, the state workforce agency provided a breakdown of unemployment claims by county through April 4. Highly populated Bernalillo County led the way during that period, with 30,269 initial claims filed between March 14 and April 4. Santa Fe, Doña Ana and Sandoval counties were next on the list, with each county exceeding 5,300 claims over the same three-week period.

Since March 7, around 25% of claimants were in the accommodation and food service industry. Other industries that have seen significant jumps include health care and the retail trade.

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