SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Another 5,128 South Dakota residents filed initial unemployment claims for the week ending April 18, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

Residents who file initial unemployment claims in South Dakota can receive the benefit for 26 weeks but in at least two prior years, most recipients didn’t receive unemployment for that long.

In the calendar year 2019, people receiving unemployment benefits received them for an average 13.7 weeks, said Dawn Dovre of the South Dakota Department of Labor. Unemployment ends when a person gets a job.

Of those who collected benefits in 2019, 14.4% exhausted their 26 weeks before they found employment, Dovre said.

COVID-19 has caused initial unemployment claims to reach historic levels in the state. Initial claims are new claims and they add to the list of continued claims in the U.S. and in states. The state has had about 27,000 initial claims since COVID-19 hit.

The South Dakota DOL said the latest number of continued claims is 14,431 for the week ending April 11.

There were 14,800 people unemployed in March 2019 in the seasonally adjusted labor force market, according to the South Dakota Department of Labor. There were 15,400 people unemployed in March 2020.

The 2018 numbers are similar to 2019, according to a 2019 labor report completed by the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). The 2019 report used data from 2018.

Residents of South Dakota were on unemployment insurance for an average of 14.6 weeks in the 2018. According to the report, 14.1% of South Dakotans exhausted their unemployment insurance because they did not find a job.

South Dakota had a labor force of 459,459 and an average unemployment rate of 3% in 2018. The national average unemployment rate was 3.9%.

The NASWA report includes a wide-range of labor specific statistics from state government employment agencies in all 50 states.

The average number of weeks people received unemployment benefits in the U.S. in 2018 was 15. Of those who received unemployment, 34.6% exhausted their benefits before finding a job, according to the NASWA report.

In Iowa, the average number of weeks people received unemployment was 13.6, according to the NASWA report. Of those unemployed 24.6% exhausted benefits before finding a job. The 2018 labor force in Iowa was 1,686,840. Iowa residents can receive unemployment for 26 weeks.

The 26 weeks also applies in Minnesota, North Dakota and Nebraska.

As in South Dakota, COVID-19 has caused new claims to increase in those states.

Minnesota had a labor force of 2,954,363 in 2018. The average unemployment period in Minnesota in 2018 was 16 weeks. Thirty-two percent of those who filed exhausted their benefits before finding a job, according to the NASWA report.

The average unemployment period in Nebraska was 11.6 weeks in 2018. Of those receiving benefits, 25.6% exhausted them before finding a job, according to the NASWA report. The state had a labor force of 1,020,197 with an average unemployment rate of 2.8%

The average duration of unemployment in North Dakota in 2018 was 13.4 weeks, according to the NASWA report. Of those who received benefits, 40.7% exhausted them before returning to work. The state had a labor force of 404,299 and an average unemployment rate of 2.6%.