AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Mainers can begin filing for a $1,500 cash incentive for taking jobs during the summer effective Tuesday.

The governor announced the Back-to-Work program a day earlier to provide an incentive for people to get to work this summer. Workers who begin a job this month are eligible for a $1,500 payment while those who begin in July are eligible for $1,000.

The Maine Department of Labor will run the program using $10 million in federal funding. State officials said up to 7,500 unemployed Mainers could receive the payments.

To be eligible, Mainers must have received unemployment benefits for the week ending May 29 and remain in the new job for at least eight weeks. They cannot pay more than $25 an hour.

In other pandemic news:


The number of COVID-19 infections remained low but there were three deaths reported Tuesday.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Maine has dipped over the past two weeks, going from 101 new cases a day on May 30 to 49 new cases a day on Sunday.

The Maine Center for Disease Control reported 29 new cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday.

That latest figures brought the death total to 848 and the number of infections to more than 68,300 in Maine.



The Maine Department of Labor also reported that continued claims for state unemployment insurance are steadily declining. The department said about 10,700 continued claims were filed during the week that ended June 5. That number was a decrease of 760 from the previous week.

Initial claims for unemployment rose by about 100 from the previous week, the department said.

The department reinstated work search requirements for people receiving unemployment benefits on May 23.


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