South Dakota unemployment rate falls below 3%

Published: Mar. 25, 2021 at 9:13 AM CDT
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - South Dakota unemployment rate fell below 3% as the state’s unemployment benefits claims continued to trend downward.

The state saw an unemployment rate of 2.9% in February, down from 3.1% in January, according to the Department of Labor. The national unemployment rate was 6.2% in February.

Meantime, unemployment claims fell by 107 to 248 last week, which is in the neighborhood of weekly claims the state saw on average prior to the pandemic. This number peaked at several thousand per week in the early months of the pandemic. It fluctuated between 400 and 1,000 in the following months, but it has hovered near pre-pandemic levels in recent weeks.

Continued claims fell by eight to 4,944. This number is also down from the peak last spring, but remains above pre-pandemic levels. Continued claims indicate the number of unemployed workers eligible for and receiving benefits after their initial claim.

Officials say for week ending March 20, a total of $1.2 million was paid out in state benefits, in addition to $1.7 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, $162,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and $323,000 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits.

The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund balance was $150.6 million on March 21.

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