BOSTON (CBS) — Another 44,467 people filed an initial claim for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts last week. It’s a drop of just over 10,000 filings from the previous week.

It’s also the first time since mid-March that the number of new claims dropped below 50,000.

The federal data also shows that 70,464 people in the Bay State filed new claims for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. That program is for self-employed workers, contractors who receive a 1099 form and “gig economy” workers who are not typically covered by the traditional unemployment system.

Currently, at least 576,970 Massachusetts residents are receiving unemployment benefits.

The Pioneer Institute, a think tank in Boston, released a new map Thursday morning that shows which cities, towns, and zip codes are hardest hit. They include Barnstable and Berkshire counties, and Provincetown, Lawrence, and Amherst.

“This is just unprecedented. It’s equivalent to Great Depression unemployment rates,” Boston College economist Robert Murphy told WBZ-TV. “The big question, as we move forward is, are most of these jobs coming back? People for the most part are reporting that they’re on temporary layoffs.”

In the United States, 3 million more filed for jobless benefits. About 36 million people nationwide have applied for unemployment since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.

Gov. Charlie Baker has said Massachusetts businesses will learn more Monday about when they can begin a phased reopening.

Learn more about applying for unemployment benefits in Massachusetts here.

  1. tcg says:

    Charlie can’t be done? A few people outside of government still have jobs! Im sure the 17 person task force has a plan, that no one can know about until Monday to trash those remaining employed! Good news is the Charlie probably has millions left in the bank from his CEO tenure! I can sleep well tonight knowing that.

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