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Coronavirus Moves Trigger Record Unemployment Filings

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Initial claims for unemployment took big jumps last week in Nebraska, Wyoming, and South Dakota because of the coronavirus – echoing a similar increase at the national level.

Nebraska filings went from fewer than 800 to nearly 16,000 while South Dakota saw a nearly 9-fold increase to 1,703 Wyoming claims were up 350% to 2,339.

Employers across the country have laid off workers due to the economic downturn from the coronavirus, prompting nearly 3.3 million Americans to apply for unemployment last week – a jump of more than 1,000%.

South Dakota Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman expects the number of new unemployment claims will continue to rise as more and more employers announce COVID-19 related layoffs.

South Dakota’s call center for filing unemployment claims has been swamped with calls while Nebraska’s online filing system has struggled at times but has generally been able to keep up with demand.