WASHINGTON (KELO) – With a startling 6.6 million people seeking jobless benefits last week, the United States has reached a grim landmark: Roughly one in 10 workers (16.8 million) have lost their jobs in just the past three weeks.
The figures collectively constitute the largest and fastest string of job losses in records dating to 1948. They paint a picture of a job market that is quickly unraveling as businesses have shut down across the country because of the coronavirus outbreak. More than 20 million American may lose jobs this month.
In South Dakota, the week of March 29 through April 4 showed 7,916 weekly claims for unemployment benefits. That is an increase of 1,115 from the prior week’s total of 6,801.
Last week’s claims report from the South Dakota Department of Labor showed South Dakota’s initial, or new claims, reached 6,645, an increase of 4,884 over the week before which had 1,761 initial claims.
“The Department is now issuing the additional $600 weekly extended unemployment benefit as a provision of the CARES Act,” state Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman said.
Hultman told KELOLAND News last week the phone lines have been extremely busy. Wait times can reach up to an hour and a half.
That’s why the state is encouraging you to file online, rather than call. And above all, you need to be patient.
Hultman had a few quick tips to make things a little easier including knowing your work history, remembering your username and password, and remember to call or go online once a week to request payment, otherwise you will not get a payment.
Stay with KELOLAND News for more coverage on the latest unemployment numbers.
Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.