State’s unemployment claims still high as totals pass 20,000 during COVID-19 Original

PIERRE, S.D.(KELO) — After four consecutive weeks of increases, the number of initial unemployment claims has dropped in South Dakota, according to the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

A total of 6,152 initial weekly claims for unemployment benefits were filed with the DOL from April 5 through April 11. This is a decrease of 1,986 claims over the prior week’s total of 8,138. 

South Dakota has had more than 22,000 initial unemployment claims since the week ending March 14.

The DOL said more phone lines and more staff have been dedicated to help process the unprecedented number of initial unemployment claims.

Once a person filed an intial claim, there is a several day wait before the check arrives.

A South Dakota resident’s first unemployment check may take about eight to 10 days to arrive after monetary determination was issued, Dawn Dovre of the South Dakota Department of Labor said last week in a story.

“After the initial 8-day processing period, it takes approximately two days from when you file the weekly request for payment (if there are no issues),” Dovre said in last week’s story.

This year’s high during COVID-19 is so far nearly eight times greater than those reached during 2008-2010 during the Great Recession.

Claims passed 1,000 during periods in years 2008 to 2010 during the Great Recession. The state had 1,226 initial claims on Dec. 13, 2008, according to the federal DOL. The numbers dropped below 1,000 until Jan. 3, 2009, when 1,153 initial claims were recorded followed by 1,073 on Jan. 10, 2009.

Another streak of highs was in late 2009 an early 2010. The state had 1,140 initial claims on Nov. 28, 2009. Claims didn’t drop below 1,000 until Dec. 19, 2009. But they hit 1,270 on Jan. 2, 2010.

South Dakota isn’t the only Upper Midwest state to have decrease in initial unemployment claims. Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota all had decreases. Minnesota had 89,634, down from the prior week’s 110,260. Iowa had 46,356 claims which was decrease of 17,838 from the prior week.

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