Minnesota has seen 464,513 new applications for unemployment insurance since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic.
The state had 13,000 new applications between Tuesday and Wednesday, Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove said during a Wednesday press briefing.
As of last Thursday, Minnesota had 385,318 unemployment applications, meaning the state had 79,195 new applications in less than a week.
According to Grove, the top occupational groups seeking unemployment are food preparation and serving, sales and service, health care including both practitioners and support, office and administrative support, and production.
Grove announced Wednesday that DEED has fully implemented the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) program, which provides a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits for eligible applicants. The PEUC program was authorized by Congress and signed into law by President Donald Trump in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“This is the second of three CARES Act programs which DEED has quickly implemented to help those most in need during the COVID-19 crisis,” Grove said in a statement. “Approximately 8,000 people have exhausted or will soon exhaust their Minnesota unemployment insurance benefits. With PEUC fully implemented, those individuals will now be eligible for an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance in addition to the $600 additional compensation payments we implemented last week.”
Grove defended the state’s unemployment system in an op-ed published Wednesday in The Star Tribune and revealed that since March 16, DEED has seen “twice as many applications for unemployment benefits than we saw in all of 2019.”
“We have processed over 450,000 applications for unemployment in less than one month. Before the crisis began, we had around 66,000 active accounts,” he said. “In Minnesota, we’ve managed to keep our system stable and have successfully processed initial payments for more than 90 percent of eligible applicants within days.”
Nationally, more than 22 million Americans have filed for unemployment insurance since the beginning of the pandemic. Last week, the country had 5.2 million new applications.
US initial claims for #unemployment at 5.245mn in week-end April 11, following 6.6mn in week prior
Cumulative jobless claims over last 4wks is 22mn!
— Gregory Daco (@GregDaco) April 16, 2020
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