The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation is out with the latest unemployment numbers for the state.

The state processed 540 initial weekly claims during the week of January 31 through February 6. That's down 71 claims from last week's total of 611.

Until March 2020, South Dakota would typically process between 200 to 300 weekly claims. However, the current numbers are much lower than during the peak of the pandemic related layoffs when thousands of people lost their jobs.

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Continued claims were nearly flat from the last report with 5,415 people getting another check. That's up 59 people from the last report's total of 5,356. Continued claims represent the number of unemployed people who are eligible for and receiving benefits after their initial claim.

$1.2 million was paid out in state benefits last week in addition to $1.3 million in Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation. South Dakota has paid out about $340.6 million in benefits since March 16, 2020.

Nationwide, initial jobless claims were higher for the week ending February 6. Fox Business reports that 793,000 Americans filed a first-time jobless claim last week. That's up 14,000 claims from last week and higher than the 757,000 claims forecast by economists.

Continued claims fell 145,000 to 4.54 million.

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