South Dakota's job market continues to impress as confirmed by the latest unemployment report from the Department of Labor and Regulation.

230 South Dakotans lost their jobs for the week ending May 1. That's a drop of 158 from last week's upward revised total of 388. On a typical week before the pandemic, 200 to 300 people would file an initial claim.

The number of South Dakotans who qualified for continued unemployment benefits rose slightly. 3,231 people received another check for the week ending April 24. That's an increase of 283 from last week's total of 2,948. This is the number of unemployed workers who are eligible for and continuing to receive benefits after their initial claim.

Some key South Dakota unemployment stats from the personal finance website Wallethub are impressive:

  • Weekly unemployment claims decreased by 42.21% compared to the start of 2020, the 2nd biggest decrease in the U.S.
  • Weekly unemployment claims decreased by 94.15% compared to the same week last year, the biggest decrease in the U.S.
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The state paid out $565,000 in benefits last week. The state has $154.5 million in the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. South Dakota has paid out $347.8 million in combined state and federal benefits since March 16, 2020.

Nationally, Fox Business reports that initial unemployment claims dropped to a new pandemic low. The latest report from the Department of Labor shows 489,000 Americans lost their job for the week ending May 1. That's down from last week's revised total of 590,000, but is still nearly double the pre-pandemic average of 230,000 weekly claims.

Continued claims came in at 3.96 million, an increase of 37,000 from last week. Nearly 16 million Americans were collecting some sort of unemployment benefits for the week ending April 17.

Fox Business reports there are 8.4 million fewer jobs in the U.S. economy today than one year ago.

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