Initial unemployment claims in South Dakota increased slightly for the first time in weeks in the latest jobs report for July 9, 2020.

799 people applied for initial weekly unemployment assistance in South Dakota last week, according to Dakota News Now. That is up 150 from the previous week and breaks a downward trend.

Good news can be found in continued claims or the number of people who can receive benefits after their initial claim. For the week ending June 20, claims fell by 20 to 17,163, according to the Department of Labor. That's down from the peak in early May when continuous claims exceeded 25,000.

Dakota News Now reports that many job sectors in the state continue to struggle as a result of the coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.

State Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman told Dakota News Now, “Claimants not returning to work when there is available work could be considered a refusal of work or voluntary quit, resulting in the loss of benefits.” She adds that “Employees absolutely have the right not to go to work, but that is a personal choice and may impact their employment status.”

Nationally, Marketwatch reports another 1.31 million initial claims were filed in the week ending July 4. That's down from its record peak of 7 million in late March but still remains historically high.

Continuous jobless claims rose in the week ending June 20 to 32.9 million. Over 50 million workers overall have filed for unemployment since mid-March when the coronavirus shutdowns began to kick in.

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