In the latest South Dakota jobs report, both initial and continued unemployment claims fell showing signs, at least on the surface, of a recovering economy in the state.

A look at initial claims shows a drop of 19 from last week to 772. Keep in mind, this number is still more than three times higher than average levels before the pandemic when 200 to 300 weekly initial claims were normal. As Dakota News Now reports, this number is substantially lower than the peak of over 8,000 from a few months ago.

Continued unemployment claims, the number of unemployed people who are still eligible for benefits after receiving an initial claim dropped over 2,000 to 16,600.

Both claims types were trending higher in recent weeks after showing a steady weekly decline since June.

State Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman told Dakota News Now that fluctuations are normal. “Some employers are still doing rolling furloughs or temporary bulk layoffs. Any changes, up or down, week to week are not a significant indicator of the overall economy.”

On the national front, Fox Business reports that 1.43 million workers filed an initial claim, making this the 19th straight week where initial claims topped 1 million. The previous record high for one week was 695,000 set in 1982. Overall, more than 54 million workers have filed an initial claim since the shutdown began.

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