LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) – For the third straight week, Nebraska saw record new unemployment filings as the battle against the coronavirus forced more businesses to lay off workers, but the rate of increase slowed significantly
The 26,788 new unemployment claims during the week that ended April 4 was only about 2,000 or 8% more than the previous week after jumps of 15,000 or over 2,000% and about 9,000 and 60% the two previous weeks.
Initial filings in South Dakota also rose for the third straight week at 7,916. That’s an increase of about 12% or 1,115 claims
The coronavirus stimulus package included an additional $600 weekly extended unemployment benefit that claimants don’t need to ask for specifically and will be included in a regular weekly request for payment.
Also on the employment front, nearly all of the 3,700 workers at the Smithfield Foods pork processing plant in Sioux Falls will be out of work for the next couple days as the facility deals witj between 80 and 120 workers having tested positive for the coronavirus/COVID-19.
Smithfield says it will suspend operations in a large section of the plant on Saturday, then completely close Sunday and Monday to sanitize facilities and install physical barriers to “enhance social distancing.” The plant is expected to resume operations on Tuesday.