Initial unemployment claims in South Dakota are down

Andrew Cummings
May 29, 2020

Tens of thousands of Virginians who are eligible for an expanded unemployment benefit Congress enacted in response to the coronavirus pandemic are waiting for their money because the state hasn't managed to get the program running yet.

Economists were expecting 2.1 million claims for last week, down from 2.4 million the week before.

The Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is warning consumers about attempts made by criminals to file imposter claims in order to receive unemployment benefits.

While the weekly totals for jobless claims have continued to fall since hitting a peak of 6.8 million in late March, state labor departments have been overwhelmed by the application process.

The layoffs reflect an economic landscape that has been shattered and shuttered.

As South Dakota businesses begin to reopen, the number of people claiming unemployment begins to drop.

Additionally, higher-than-normal unemployment checks are keeping a portion of the labor market at home.

More than 190,800 Utahns have sought unemployment benefits since the week ending March 7, including more than 26,200 self-employed and contract workers, who are now covered for jobless aid under a new program.

Thursday's jobless data comes ahead of next Friday's closely watched monthly employment report.

A previous COVID-19 relief package boosted unemployment benefits temporarily, and a University of Chicago study showed that more than two-thirds of people receiving unemployment may be getting more in benefits than they would've gotten from their jobs.

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