Minnesota Unemployment Claims Up to 385,000

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Minnesota has seen 385,318 new applications for unemployment insurance since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove said Thursday.

As of March 27, Minnesota had 182,000 new unemployment applications, meaning unemployment claims have increased by 203,318 in the state over the past two weeks.

Since March 16, Minnesota has had a total of 385,318 new unemployment insurance applications.

Grove said the industries most impacted by the economic shutdown are food preparation and serving (74,574), sales and service (38,799), health care including practitioners and support (36,668), office and administrative support (28,785), and production (20,491).

Minnesota was one of the first states to begin issuing additional compensation benefits of $600 to unemployed residents under Congress’ coronavirus stimulus bill.

“With a record number of unemployment applications, we know this is an uncertain and challenging time for many. It was critical that we act swiftly and provide this additional compensation without delay,” Grove said in a press release.

Nationally, another 6.6 million workers filed for unemployment last week, the U.S. Department of Labor announced Thursday. In total, more than 16 million workers have filed unemployment claims since the start of the pandemic.

For comparison, it took two years for 8.6 million people to lose their jobs during the 2008 recession.

Grove previously estimated that up to 78 percent of jobs in Minnesota were in “critical” industries that are allowed to continue working during the stay-at-home order. Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday that he has extended the order until May 4, but made some modifications to allow other industries to return to work.

A full list of exempted industries can be viewed in section six of his updated executive order.

Minnesota now has 1,242 confirmed COVID-19 cases and has tested 32,294 residents for the virus, the Department of Health said. As of Thursday, the state had experienced 50 fatalities and 293 hospitalizations as a result of the virus.

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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].
Photo “Unemployment Office” by Burt Lum. CC BY 2.0.







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