Minnesota Unemployment Claims Near 100,000 This Week
(MinnPost file photo by Walker Orenstein)

Minnesota Unemployment Claims Near 100,000 This Week

The North Star State continues to release unemployment figures even as the Trump administration asks states to hold off.

Minnesota this week received more than 95,000 applications for unemployment insurance benefits.

As of Thursday, the state logged 95,352 applications for unemployment benefits. More than 23,000 applications poured in on Thursday alone, according to data from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The number of unemployment claims is expected to grow significantly as the COVID-19 outbreak worsens in the U.S. For perspective, Minnesota would typically receive about 500 new unemployment filings in a day at this time of year, DEED spokesman Eric Lightner said in an email.

The outbreak has already led to the closure of several businesses in the state, primarily in the restaurant and hospitality industries.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor has advised states to delay the release of unemployment figures, The New York Times reported on Thursday. In an email obtained by the newspaper, federal officials asked states to “use generalities to describe claims levels” and hold off until the labor department released its own national figures next week.

Minnesota, evidently, isn’t yet abiding by the guidance. Several other states also are continuing to release unemployment figures as usual, with the exception of South Carolina, which will follow the Trump administration’s advice to keep figures under wraps for now.

Earlier this week, members of Gov. Walz’s administration said they expected the number of unemployment claims to grow into the “hundreds of thousands.”