South Dakota unemployment benefits claims jump nearly 900%

Unemployment benefits claim skyrocketed in South Dakota in the wake of mass closures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Claims jumped nearly 900% during the week of March 15-21, according numbers released by the South Dakota Department of Labor Thursday.

A total of 1,703 claims for unemployment benefits were filed last week, Public Affairs Director Dawn Dovre said. It is a 1,513 claims over the prior week's total of 190.

“A large number of employers are announcing COVID-19 related layoffs, so we anticipate the number of new unemployment claims will continue to rise,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman.

This comes as the latest U.S. jobs report revealed nearly 3.3 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week.

In a briefing Thursday morning, Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken called the numbers "unsustainable."

More:S.D. Department of Labor's COVID-19 website