by Bruce Walker
Minnesota’s new unemployment claims last week dropped by 9,254 from the week ending Dec. 5, according to Department of Labor statistics released Thursday morning.
Unemployment claims in the state continue to drop despite the ongoing prohibitions of indoor gatherings imposed by Gov. Tim Walz to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 virus. On Wednesday, Walz announced he was extending his lockdown orders through the holiday season.
“Thousands of businesses had no problems before, but Walz shut down every single one of them anyway,” Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said in a statement.
“They are just desperate to keep their business going and the data doesn’t support these new restrictions. Let the businesses and employees who were keeping people safe go back to their jobs with simple, easy to follow guidelines.”
Initial claims filed in Minnesota the week ending Dec. 12 were 15,923, down 60% from the previous week’s 25,177 initial claims.
Total unemployment claims in Minnesota also dipped slightly last week. For the week ending Dec. 12, 139,907 total claims were reported, down 536 claims from the previous week’s 140,443 claims.
Nationwide, the DOL reported 885,000 new unemployment claims last week, which is the highest weekly total since September, compared to 862,000 new claims for the week ending Dec. 5. By comparison, the average weekly unemployment claims prior to the pandemic hovered at 225,000.
At present, 20.6 million U.S. workers are receiving some form of unemployment benefits.
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Bruce Walker is a regional editor at The Center Square. He previously worked as editor at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s MichiganScience magazine and The Heartland Institute’s InfoTech & Telecom News.