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Fewer people are initially claiming unemployment in South Dakota

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has developed a schedule for laid off workers to file for benefits. (MGN)
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency has developed a schedule for laid off workers to file for benefits. (MGN)(WJRT)
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 9:32 AM MDT
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By no means is South Dakota's economy healthy but once again, initial weekly claims for state unemployment benefits are down.

During the week of May 31 through June 6, 817 initial unemployment claims were processed by the Department of Labor and Regulation. This is a drop of 681 claims from the prior week’s total of 1,498.

Nationwide, about 1.5 million laid-off workers applied for unemployment benefits last week.

The latest figure from the Labor Department marked the 10th straight weekly decline in applications for jobless aid since they peaked in mid-March when the coronavirus hit hard. Still, the pace of layoffs remains historically high.

South Dakota has paid out $4.9 million in state benefits, in addition to $13.1 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, $894,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and $46,000 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund balance June 7 was $98.8 million.

The latest number of continued claims is 19,629 for the week ending May 23. This indicates the number of unemployed workers eligible for and receiving benefits after their initial claim.

People who aren't sure if they will be recalled back to work are being encouraged by the state to seek other employment.

“Over 19,000 job openings are currently listed in our

jobs database, back to pre-pandemic levels,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “If you’re unsure if you’ll be recalled back to work, now is the perfect opportunity to consider a new career. We have many education and training opportunities to get you started.”

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