Seasonal layoffs in restaurants, lodging and construction drove an increase in new jobless claims last week, the Maine Department of Labor said Thursday.
There were about 2,300 initial claims filed for state unemployment insurance and another 300 initial claims filed through the federal pandemic unemployment assistance program.
In total, nearly 43,000 Mainers are receiving continuing aid through state and federal jobless programs.
Since March 15, the Maine Department of Labor has paid more than $1.6 billion in unemployment benefits.
The unemployment news came at a time of alarming virus numbers: Maine recorded more than 200 new coronavirus cases on Thursday as officials warily monitored growing weekly rates. The seven-day rolling average for daily cases rose to 165.9, which is five times the average from a month ago, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
The surge has reached all corners of the state with active cases in all 16 counties. Five of the counties are now classified as having high or substantial community transmission: Franklin, Knox, Somerset, Waldo and Washington counties, officials said.
The total number of positive test reports grew to nearly 8,400, with one additional death reported Thursday, according to the Maine CDC.