PIERRE, S.D. KELO) – During the week of Dec. 13-19, a total of 696 initial weekly claims for state unemployment benefits were processed by the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation. This is a decrease of 230 claims from the prior week’s total of 926.

It is a decrease of more than 20%.

The U.S. Department of Labor said one state in the region had an increase in claims while three others dropped.

Iowa had 7,645 new claims. That is an increase of 1,119 from the prior week’s 6,526.

Minnesota’s new claims decreased by 1,944 to 14,075 from the prior week’s 16,019.

Nebraska had 2,659 new claims. That is a decrease of 30 from the prior week’s 2,689.

North Dakota’s claims decreased by 501 to 1,085 from the prior week’s 1,586.

The latest number of continued state claims in South Dakota is 4,144 for the week ending Dec. 12, an increase of 300 from the prior week’s total of 3,844, according to the state.