SANTA FE (AP)- The Associated Press reported that the state’s top workforce officials stated that about 19,000 New Mexico’s unemployment applications were processed over the weekend as the state begins distributing a $600 federally subsidized boost to weekly benefits.
Overall, 74,000 people in New Mexico have been approved or re-certified for unemployment benefits since the economic fallout from the coronavirus hit hard last month, said Workforce Solutions Secretary Bill McCamley.
That figure does not include claims filed by residents who file taxes as self-employed or as gig economy workers because officials have not yet started processing those claims. State officials have estimated that there are about 62,000 workers in New Mexico who fit into those work categories.
The maximum weekly unemployment payout in New Mexico is $461, but the federal boost increases that to $1,061 weekly.
The state’s jobless claims skyrocketed as Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, a Democrat, emphasized the need for social distancing under an emergency health order that suspended nonessential business, closed down schools and banned gatherings of more than five people.
Lujan Grisham has said an economic recovery plan is under development, but it is unclear whether the plan will incorporate the White House’s phased approach to reopening the economy.
Lujan Grisham took part in a call Monday between U.S. governors and Vice President Mike Pence regarding efforts to expand coronavirus testing capacity. Lujan Grisham spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said she wanted but did not get a chance to ask Pence for more information about the future of antibody testing, which New Mexico has not yet implemented.
Article reported and written by Morgan Lee, Associated Press.