First-time unemployment claims in South Dakota increased by one-third over last week according to the latest report from the Department of Labor and Regulation.

905 South Dakotans lost their job in the week ending Jan. 9, rising from 603 in the last report. In a pre-COVID-19 world, South Dakota would process an average of 200 to 300 weekly first-time claims.

Continued claims jumped 1,473 from last week to 6,219 for the week ending Jan. 2. This indicates the number of unemployed workers in the state who are eligible for and continue to receive benefits after their initial claim.

The state paid out $1.3 million in benefits last week and has paid out over $330.1 million since March 16, 2020.

Nationally, nearly 1 million Americans lost their job last week as the number of initial jobless claims rose to the highest level since August. 965,000 Americans filed the first-time claim, beating the 795,000 claims expected by analysts.

Fox Business suggests that this lastest spike in first-time claims is a result of new business lockdown measures many states are taking in the wake of rising COVID-19 cases.

Another 199,000 Americans were eligible to receive unemployment benefits for a total of 5.27 million people who are still out of work after filing an initial claim.

Nearly 70 million Americans have filed a jobless claim since March 2020.

A separate report released last week shows that employers cut 140,000 jobs in December. This is the first month-over-month loss since last spring.

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