South Dakota unemployment claims fall to pre-pandemic levels

Published: May. 27, 2021 at 10:19 AM CDT|Updated: May. 27, 2021 at 10:22 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Both first-time and continued unemployment benefit claims declined in the jobs report released Thursday by the South Dakota Department of Labor.

Officials reported 197 initial weekly unemployment claims, roughly half the previous week’s total. According to data from the St. Louis Fed, this marks the lowest weekly claim total since the state reported 190 on March 14, 2020, which was the last report before the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic hit the South Dakota economy.

The number of continued unemployment claims also fell slightly, down 76 to 2,523. This is the lowest number of continued claims in South Dakota since December of 2019, according data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

This comes as the state prepares to discontinue federal pandemic-related unemployment programs. Gov. Kristi Noem says South Dakota’s participation in these programs will end June 26. Officials cited a need for workers by businesses across the state, though the number of people currently receiving unemployment benefits would only make a dent in the state’s labor shortage. Labor Secretary Marcia Hultman said the state’s online jobs database has averaged over 23,000 job openings daily.

Nationwide unemployment claims also fell Thursday to 406,000, a pandemic low.

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