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Coronavirus Drives SD Weekly Jobless Claims 35 Times Higher

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today that 5,823,917 Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week. That’s nearly twice the 2,903,757 who filed the week before. (The BLS does some statistical magic and says those two weeks brought 6,648,000 and 3,341,000 seasonally adjusted initial claims.) Unemployment claims doubled last week after more than eleven-tupling the week before. The number of people who filed for unemployment last week was more than 30 times larger than the number who filed one year and one week ago, when we were more likely to get killed by Aberdeen’s bad drivers than by their sneezicles.

Over the last three weeks, South Dakota’s weekly jobless claims have jumped from 190 to 1,761 to 6,645. That’s like Hosmer showing up at the Department of Labor on March 14, then Webster on March 21, then Harrisburg on March 28.

Only four states—Minnesota, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Nevada—saw fewer unemployment filings last week than they saw the week before, the first week that most of us got serious about shutting down the economy to weather coronavirus. But those four states took an extra bite of the job-loss apple the week ending March 21, seeing their claims jump from normal by percentages exceeding the shocking national rate (14.5x week-to-week jump in Nevada, 28.9x in Minnesota, 32.6x in Rhode Island, and 45.8x in New Hampshire).

South Dakota’s jobless claims last week jumped 3.77 times over the previous week’s ugly figure. That’s the tenth-highest proportional jump in the U.S., including D.C., Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. Our jump in the inaugural week of the coronavirus recession was 9.27x, lower than the national jump and only 36th-highest out of the 53 places surveyed.

Put those figures together, and 35 times more South Dakotans lost jobs last week than lost jobs while most of collegians were away for Spring Break from March 7 through March 14.


  1. mike from iowa 2020-04-03

    On top of all this stuff, drumpf decides migrant workers aren’t all that bad for America’s economy, when it and drumpf’s presidency are in dire straits. Of course they’d be taking jobs unemployed Americans would be doing and they’d have to be active while others are sheltered in space.

    Majority of ‘Murricans disapprove of drumpf’s bungling the virus response.

  2. Chuck-Z 2020-04-04

    I have suspicion something like this has occurred here in South Dakota:

    Beginning with the name change to “reemployment assistance” designed to create confusion, to a confusing website that is meant to make users resort to a phone call hold that will make you hold an hour or more, to then receive a lecture from someone reading from a script meant to further frustrate your application.

  3. mike from iowa 2020-04-05

    Last week’s national unemployment mark of 4.4% did not include the past two weeks nearly 10 million more unemployment claims, naturally. Next report is almost guaranteed to be be brutal and Obama’s fault.

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