Eight Percent of Minnesota Workers Filed Unemployment in Last Two Weeks

Eight Percent of Minnesota Workers Filed Unemployment in Last Two Weeks

The deluge of jobless claims isn't slowing down.

In the last two weeks, the state of Minnesota received nearly 240,000 applications for unemployment insurance in what has become a deluge of filings in the wake of fallout from Covid-19.

From 6 a.m. on Monday, March 16, through 8 p.m. last night (Sunday, March 29), the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development received 239,263 new or reactivated applications for unemployment insurance.

Over the 14-day stretch, that means that the state received an average of more than 17,000 claims every day for the last two weeks. In the past two weeks, DEED has received more unemployment insurance applications than it did for the entire year of 2019.

DEED statistics show that Minnesota had nearly 3 million people employed in February. The filings in the last 14 days would account for 8 percent of the state’s workforce. Last week, the state reported an unemployment rate of 3.1 percent. The new filings will likely push the state’s unemployment rate above 10 percent.

But that may not show up immediately in the state’s numbers. In its announcement last week about February job statistics, DEED noted: “Because of the lag time between data collection and reporting, and because monthly employment data reflects payroll numbers through mid-month, we won’t expect to see a more complete picture of Covid-19 impacts on monthly employment numbers until the April data release on May 21.”

Through March 24, DEED had received 164,786 applications for unemployment insurance. That means that more than 74,000 unemployment claims have rolled in over the last five days.

DEED is so swamped with claims that it instituted a new application schedule based on the last digit of your social security number. Per DEED:

  • If the last digit of your social security number is 0, 1 or 2 – you should apply on Monday
  • If the last digit of your social security number is 3,4 or 5 – you should apply on Tuesday
  • If the last digit of your social security number is 6,7, 8 or 9 – you should apply on Wednesday
  • You will only be allowed to apply on your assigned day – or Thursday or Friday if you missed your assigned day.

The system only applies to new applicants and does not affect the amount of benefits that an applicant will be paid.

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