The lastest unemployment claims data has been released and it shows a slight uptick in initial weekly claims for South Dakota.

Dakota News Now reports that for the week ending August 8, 2020, first-time unemployment claims rose slightly, increasing by 136 from last week for a total of 911.

Prior to the pandemic, first-time claims in South Dakota averaged around 200 to 300 per week. Claims rose to several thousand per week as government-mandated shutdowns forced affected business owners to lay off staff.

State Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman said fluctuations are normal. “Some employers are still doing rolling furloughs or temporary bulk layoffs. Any changes, up or down, week to week are not a significant indicator of the overall economy.”

Continued claims dropped 179, falling to 15,464. This indicates the number of unemployed workers eligible for and receiving benefits after their initial claim, Dakota News Now reports.

Nationally, Fox Business reports that initial unemployment claims fell below 1 million for the first time in 20 weeks. 963,000 workers filed the first-time claim last week. However, that number still remains historically high. The of the previous weekly record of 695,000 was set in 1982.

56 million Americans have filed an initial unemployment claim since the shutdowns began.

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