South Dakota's unemployment numbers reveal a mixed bag in the latest report from the Department of Labor.

542 South Dakotans lost their job and filed a first-time unemployment claim for the week ending January 2. That is down by 113 claims from last week's total of 665.

Turing to continued claims, 4,704 unemployed workers received another weekly check. That number is up 1,020 from the last report. Continued claims indicate the number of unemployed workers who are eligible for and receiving benefits after their initial claim,

There is at least some good news for unemployed South Dakotans. This is the first week the state began paying an additional $300 weekly FPUC benefit. This is part of a new extended provision under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.

The state's Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund balance sits at $117.7 million. South Dakota has paid approximately $327.7 million in claims since March 16, 2020.

Nationwide, jobless numbers came in lower than expected. Fox Business reports that 787,000 more Americans lost their job for the week ending Jan 2. Analysts expected 800,000. This lower number comes even as many states are tightening restrictions on businesses in the face of climbing COVID-19 numbers.

Continued claims fell to 5.07 million, a drop of 126,000 from the last report.

Nearly 70 million Americans, or about 40% of the labor force, have filed for unemployment benefits since March when state governments began forcing 'non-essential' businesses to close in an effort to 'flatten the curve.'

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