New and ongoing claims for jobless benefits in Utah have gone down

People wait to speak with representatives from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission about unemployment claims Thursday

The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation said Thursday the state has paid $70 million in regular unemployment claims since March 16, while new federal unemployment programs have paid the rest.

Nationally, the agency reported a decline in new claims for the first time in three weeks.

The previous lowest number of claims in a given week on record was for the week ending June 6, when just over 23,000 New Jerseyans filed for jobless assistance. Economists had forecast 1.415 million applications in the latest week.

Unemployment remains high relative to this time past year, when SC was averaging 2,548 new weekly claims in July 2019.

Talks to extend the $600 in weekly federal supplements have stalled in Congress, with Democrats and Republicans locking horns over whether the additional money should be continued at a flat rate, or continued as a percentage of worker's weekly income.

The total workers continuing to receive benefits fell to 16.1 million, but that was almost 10 times higher than a year earlier, and the insured unemployment rate dipped six-tenths to a still-high 11 per cent through the week ended July 25.

The total number of Americans receiving some type of jobless benefit in the month of July rose above 32 million.

The state Department of Employment and Workforce reported that about 8,900 people filed initial claims last week.

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits topped 1 million for the twentieth straight week - bringing the total number of initial jobless claims filed during the coronavirus pandemic to more than 55 million.

Although further widespread shutdowns appear unlikely, with layoffs from the second virus wave falling, "the clear slowdown in the rate of decline over the past few weeks is ominous", Naroff said.