First-time unemployment claims decrease, continued claims go up in South Dakota

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 3:01 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The number of people filing for initial unemployment benefits declined in South Dakota’s latest jobs report, though the number of continued claims increased.

The South Dakota Department of Labor reported 542 first-time weekly claims for the week ending on Jan. 2, down 113 from the previous week.

Before the pandemic, the state generally saw around 200-300 claims per week over the previous few years. However, the number spiked to several thousand in the early months of the pandemic. It has hovered between 400-800 in the past few months.

Continued claims, which indicates the number of unemployed workers receiving benefits after their initial claims, increased by over 1,000 to 4,704 in Thursday’s jobs report.

South Dakota began paying the additional $300 weekly Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation benefit effective week ending Jan. 2. This is a new extended provision under the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act of 2020.

Nationwide unemployment claims fell slightly to 787,000, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

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