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South Dakota unemployment claims drop significantly

A lawsuit against Florida regarding delays with its unemployment website continues moving forward in court. (MGN)
A lawsuit against Florida regarding delays with its unemployment website continues moving forward in court. (MGN)(WJHG)
Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 10:01 AM CDT
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Initial weekly claims for unemployment benefits have dropped significantly in South Dakota, though they remained high as the economy continues to deal with the impact of COVID-19.

Department of Labor officials say the state received 1,435 initial weekly claims for unemployment benefits during the week of May 24 through May 30.

That number is down from 3,471 the week before, and is the lowest number of new claims since the impact of the coronavirus pandemic first hit the economy in mid-March. The state saw 1,703 unemployment claims in the week ending on March 21; that number rose to over 8,000 in the weeks that followed.

While unemployment claims are down, they still remain above average for South Dakota. Prior to the pandemic, the state average between 200-300 claims per week.

The latest number of continued claims is 22,454 for the week ending May 16, according to state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. This indicates the number of unemployed workers eligible for and receiving benefits after their initial claim.

A total of $3.9 million was paid out in state benefits, in addition to $12.0 million paid out in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, $525,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and $19,000 in Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits. The Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund balance May 31 was $103.4 million.

“Effective June 1, teachers, substitute teachers and school workers who work only during the school year are no longer eligible to receive unemployment benefits because they would not typically be working during the summer,” said Hultman. “One exception is federal teachers and school workers, such as BIA employees.”

Nationwide, 1.9 million Americans

last week.

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