South Dakota unemployment claims were up slightly and climbed above the pre-pandemic weekly average last week.

In the latest report from the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, 364 workers lost their job in the week ending May 15. That an increase of 59 initial claims over last week's revised total of 305.

200 to 300 initial weekly claims were the typical average before the pandemic-related business shutdowns sent thousands of South Dakotans to the unemployment line.

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The state reported a decrease in continued claims, the number of unemployed workers who are eligible for and collecting benefits after their initial claim. 2,519 continued claims were filed for the week ending May 8. That's down 120 from the last report's revised total of 2,639.

The Department of Labor reports the unemployment rate for the month of April 2021 is 2.8%. That's down 0.1% from March 2021. The state's unemployment rate skyrocketed to a record 9.2% in April 2020.

Nationally, Fox Business reports initial claims fell to the lowest level since the pandemic began, coming in at 444,000. That's down 34,000 from last week's revised total and lower than analysts were expecting.

However, continued claims rose to 3.751 million, up from last week's revised total of 3.64 million.

The April jobs report was disappointing, showing the US economy only added 266,000 nonfarm jobs, badly missing the estimate of 978,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate rose to 6.1%.

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