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Initial Unemployment Claims Increase In South Dakota

Weekly initial unemployment claims in South Dakota.

The number of initial unemployment claims in South Dakota increased last week as economic fallout from the pandemic continued.

There were 5,131 initial claims in the state last week. That’s an increase of about 30 percent from the previous week.

Since the pandemic began affecting the state’s economy, about 43,000 South Dakotans have filed initial claims for unemployment assistance.

Nationally, last week’s initial claims were 3 million. That was down slightly from the previous week. Nationwide initial claims since mid-March are more than 36 million.

People eligible for unemployment assistance are those who’ve lost work through no fault of their own. Benefits are paid from state trust funds supported by employer taxes. The federal government is also paying a $600 weekly benefit in addition to state benefits.

The balance in South Dakota’s trust fund is $104 million, down from $132 million at the start of the pandemic.

- Seth Tupper is SDPB's business and economic development reporter.