Mass layoffs.  This is something none of us in South Dakota were thinking about three weeks ago.

There are a lot of good people in our state who are out of work today due to no fault of their own.

Business owners who want to do right by their employees are caught in the middle, either having to shut down due to government mandate or close for a lack of business.

In the wake of COVID-19 related layoffs, South Dakota went from having one of the nation's lowest unemployment rates to posting a record high in new claims.

Over 16,000 workers have filed for benefits since COVID-19 layoffs began in South Dakota.  16.8 million workers nationwide are out of work since layoffs began.

What happens if you or someone you know finds themselves casualties of a COVID-19 layoff?

South Dakota secretary of labor and regulation, Marcia Hultman, spoke with Dakota News Now about how workers can file for unemployment and the common mistakes her office is seeing right now.

Hultman says the best option is filing online at

If you prefer to call on the phone, you can only do so a specific day according to your last name.  The number to call is 605-626-3179.

  • A through F, Monday
  • G through N, Tuesday
  • O though Z, Wednesday

If you missed your day, you can call Thursday or Friday.

Hultman told Dakota News Now, one of the common mistakes people are making is forgetting their username and password and having to call her office.  She suggests writing those items down.

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