PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota has paid out a total of $4.7 million in state unemployment benefits in addition to the $13.7 paid out in federal pandemic funds, according to a news release.

The number of initial weekly unemployment claims processed by the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation for the week ending May 16 totaled 3,806, a decrease of 1,463 from the previous week.

As of May 17, the state's unemployment insurance trust fund balance stood at $99.3 million.

The state also processed 23,388 continuing claims during the week ending May 2 for unemployed workers eligible to receive benefits after already filing an initial claim.

South Dakota's economy, along with the rest of the United States, are in recession, according to Ralph Brown, a professor of economics at the University of South Dakota.

Brown gave a presentation to the state Council of Economic Advisors during a meeting Thursday, May 21 , using data from the most recent market reports.

The country's gross domestic product is down 37% in the second quarter of 2020, while consumer spending is down 44%. Job losses exceed 30,000 across the United States fueling an unemployment rate of nearly 20%.

According to projections, a recovery to previous peaks is expected by 2024 and back to full unemployment by 2025.

"This recovery is due to unprecedented fiscal and monetary stimulus, deficits of 16.5% of GDP and a near zero interest rate policy," Brown's presentation document stated.

By the numbers

The South Dakota Department of Health reported two more deaths on Friday, May 22.

The deaths were both Minnehaha County women in the 80 or above age range.

The COVID-19 death toll in the state is now at 50.

The total number of reported COVID-19 cases in South Dakota increased to 4,356, an increase of 106 from Thursday.

There are 1,039 active cases of COVID-19 in the state

Recoveries increased to 3,267.

As of Friday, 83 South Dakotans remained hospitalized for COVID-19. The state has had a total of 351 cases that required hospitalization so far.

Minnehaha County leads the state in active cases with 556 active cases. Here's a look at other counties:

  • Brown County has 98 active cases.
  • Pennington County has 101 active cases.
  • Beadle County has 77 active cases.
  • Lincoln County has 38 active cases.

  • Union County has 22 active cases.

  • Aurora County has 18 active cases.

  • Oglala Lakota County has 14 active cases.
  • Yankton County has 14 active cases.
  • Roberts County has eight active cases.
  • Codington County has eight active cases.
  • Todd County has seven active cases.

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