PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakotans are slowly but surely getting back to work, a sign that workplaces are adjusting to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the last week of May, 4,613 unemployed workers ceased to continue filing for state unemployment claims.

The pandemic’s highest total number of unemployment claims was notched at 25,186 for the week ending May 9, according to a news release from the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation.

For the week ending May 30, the number of continued state claims totaled 20,573.

“Many South Dakotans are going back to work, which is great for the economy as we work to get back to normal,” said Marcia Hultman, state labor and regulation secretary, in the news release. “Jobs may look different, but our department is prepared to help workers retrain to meet new demands and help employers find qualified candidates.”

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New initial claims for the week ending June 13 totaled 1,006, an increase of 126 from the previous week.

Statewide, job openings are down 11.6% from their March 19 peak, according to data from the state’s finance department.

The state’s travel spending is down 70% from last year during the same week ending June 6.

The decrease equals $51 million in revenue losses for the state.

The state’s video lottery players are making up for the lost gambling time as casinos open back up and allow more patrons into their facilities. Video lottery machine net income was up 14.9% from the weekly average since February.

The number of people infected with COVID-19 overall increased by 59 cases Thursday, June 18.

The state now has a total of 6,109 confirmed positive cases.

Active cases are at 810, down 19 from Wednesday.

No new deaths were reported Thursday, leaving the death toll at 78.

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