Minnesota Had 116,000 New Unemployment Claims Last Week


Minnesota has seen 182,000 workers apply for unemployment insurance since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove said Thursday.

Since Monday, March 16, Minnesota has had 182,000 unemployment claims, which is about 5.9 percent of the workforce. That doesn’t mean the state has a 5.9 percent unemployment rate, since many of these workers are temporarily jobless, Grove noted.

According to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor, Minnesota saw 116,438 new unemployment claims during the week that ended Saturday. That’s an increase of 112,428 claims from the prior week ending March 14.

Minnesota was one of 10 states to see a six-figure increase in unemployment claims between the week ending March 14 and the week ending March 21. The other states were California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington.

Pennsylvania saw the most significant increase of any state with 378,098 claims filed last week, compared to 15,439 the week prior – an increase of 363,469.

Nationally, nearly 3.28 million Americans filed unemployment claims lasts week, an increase of more than three million clams from the prior week. The Department of Labor said the nearly 3.3 million claims is a record high for a single week and almost five times the previous record of 695,000, which was set in October 1982.

Seventy-eight percent of jobs in Minnesota are in “critical” industries that are allowed to continue working during the shelter-in-place order, Grove said. These industries include health care, law enforcement, public safety, first responders, child care, food and agriculture, media, energy, water and wastewater, and critical manufacturing.

Minnesota saw its number of confirmed COVID-19 cases jump from 287 to 346 between Wednesday and Thursday – the largest day-to-day increase in cases thus far. The Department of Health has reported two deaths caused by the coronavirus and 41 hospitalizations.

As of Thursday, 134 patients had recovered from the virus and no longer need to be isolated.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected]







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