South Dakota unemployment claims remain steady, though still historically high

Published: Apr. 30, 2020 at 8:23 AM CDT
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Unemployment benefit claims in South Dakota rose slightly, but they still remain historically high as the economy grapples with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the South Dakota Department of Labor, 5,389 people filed for unemployment benefits between April 19-25. It's an increase of 94 claims over the previous week's total of 5,295.

Generally, weekly unemployment claims hover around 200 in South Dakota. They have spiked the last six weeks after effects of the pandemic began to take hold.

Over 34,000 South Dakotans have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. That's roughly seven percent of the state's workforce, according to the


“Unemployment claims continue to steadily roll in at historic levels,” said state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman. “The department is monitoring the ever-changing COVID-19 situation to determine the appropriate level of staffing to process and pay claims in a timely manner.”

The latest number of continued claims is 19,664 for the week ending April 11. This indicates the number of unemployed workers eligible for and receiving benefits after their initial claim.