SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – About 19,000 New Mexico unemployment applications were processed over the weekend as the state begins distributing a $600 federally subsidized boost to weekly benefits, the state’s top workforce official said Monday.
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.
New Mexico officials announced new deliveries of personal protective equipment such as face masks and gowns to retirement homes and state, local and tribal entities. The governor’s office says the state has spent $10.4 million on protective equipment designed to limit the transmission of COVID-19 since the disease arrived.
Shipments in recent days went out to Pojoaque, Zuni and Santa Clara pueblos as well as retirement homes in Bernalillo, Sandoval and Socorro counties.