UPDATE: Unemployment rate hits 10% in South Dakota; higher than three neighboring states

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PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s unemployment rate for April climbed to 10.2% from 3.1% in March.

The unemployment rate is “historic in the very worst way,” Gov. Kristi Noem said in a Thursday afternoon news conference.

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation released the new rate Thursday.

Noem said the unemployment numbers are likely record numbers or the highest since the Great Depression. But, unemployment numbers weren’t tracked during the Great Depression as they are today, she said.

Although the rate is an historic one, Noem said it’s encouraging the South Dakota’s rate is below the national rate of 14.7% and below that of many other states.

While the state’s rate is below the national unemployment rate it’s higher than the rates in Minnesota, North Dakota and Nebraska.

It’s the same as Iowa’s which is 10.2%, according to Iowa Workforce Development.

Minnesota’s rate increased to 8.1%, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). This is the highest since 1983 when it hit 8.9%, according to DEED. The unemployment rate in March was 2.9%.

North Dakota’s April unemployment rate is 8.5%, according to the North Dakota Department of Labor.

Nebraska’s April unemployment rate is 8.3%, according to the Nebraska Department of Labor. The March rate was 4.2%.

The unemployment rates in this story are all seasonally adjusted rates.

More than 4,000 initial unemployment claims were processed in South Dakota in last week.

South Dakota has many employed in the health care industry and retail trade both of which have laid off workers throughout the pandemic. According to the S.D. DOLR, there were 74,900 people employed in education and healthcare in March and 50,400 in retail in the same month. Those figures are not seasonally adjusted.

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