COVID-19 and its associated impacts leave the unemployment rates for Hughes and Stanley counties at more than double what they were at this time last year.
Although South Dakota’s 7% jobless rate is not as high as those seen in many states that saw governors impose “shelter-in-place” orders, it is still more than twice the 3.2% metric of July 2019.
Now, South Dakota Labor and Regulation Secretary Marcia Hultman is warning those who have been collecting unemployment benefits that if they have not been searching for a job, they had better start looking. Hultman said her department waived the requirement that workers filing for unemployment must actively search for work to be eligible for benefits on March 21.
This waiver is set to expire Saturday, Aug. 1.
“Businesses are returning to normal and in need of quality applicants,” Hultman said. “We have many employment services and education and training programs to help find new work and connect with great opportunities in South Dakota.”
Hultman said unemployment claimants will be required to verify that at least two work searches occurred each week when requesting their weekly benefit payment, effective the week ending Saturday, Aug. 8 and after.
Examples of qualified work search activities, according to Hultman, include submitting a job application online or in-person, attending a job interview, or participating in a state-approved reemployment services program, such as a job search workshop.
“Employment specialists can meet with you virtually to help navigate the system and determine the best fit based on your needs, interests and experience,” Hultman said, adding there are more than 19,000 jobs listed at https://www.southdakotaworks.org/vosnet/Default.aspx.
Hultman also said those who had been receiving an additional $600 per week from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation are no longer going to get it, as this will officially expire on Saturday.
New Unemployment Claims Filed During Each Week Of The COVID-19 Pandemic, According to South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation:
March 14: 190
March 21: 1,703
March 28: 6,645
April 4: 7,916
April 11: 6,152
April 18: 5,128
April 25: 5,389
May 2: 3,756
May 9: 5,131
May 16: 3,806
May 23: 3,410
May 30: 1,445
June 6: 817
June 13: 1,006
June 20: 857
June 27: 576
July 4: 799
July 11: 1,160
July 18: 698
July 25: 753