FARGO — Unemployment numbers in North Dakota for the week ending April 4 continued their unprecedented climb with 16,167 claims filed last week, according to figures released Thursday, April 8, by Job Service North Dakota.

The number eclipsed the 12,591 claims filed the week before and the 5,976 claims filed the week before that as North Dakota and other states across the country ramped up steps to control the coronavirus outbreak by limiting how businesses can operate and how people can gather.

Unemployment filings for the nation as a whole also remained very high last week, with the U.S. Labor Department reporting Thursday morning that for the week ending April 4 about 6.6 million initial unemployment claims were filed.


High as that number was, it represented a decrease of 261,000 claims from the previous week's level, the Labor Department said.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

In North Dakota, jobless figures from last week included 3,827 unemployment claims filed in Cass County, which was up from the previous week when the number was 3,182.

The hospitality and food service sector remained the category logging the most unemployment claims in the state with 2,282, followed by healthcare and social assistance with 2,185 claims filed.

On Tuesday, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum said during a daily briefing on coronavirus issues that the state had seen nearly 40,500 jobless claims filed since March 16, nearly twice the entire number of jobless claims filed in the state in 2019.

Minnesota saw 110,095 people file unemployment claims in the week ending April 4, according to a Minnesota Employment and Economic Development website.

A total of 366,556 people have filed claims in Minnesota since March 16, according to the website, which said Clay County saw 1,501 people file unemployment claims in approximately the same time period.

On Thursday, the personal finance website WalletHub.com released rankings for the states indicating where the biggest increases in unemployment occurred due to the coronavirus.

North Dakota ranked ninth among the states and the District of Columbia when it came the largest percentage increase in jobless claims. Minnesota ranked 34th.

The rankings were based on comparing jobless claim increases for the week of March 30, 2020, to the same week in 2019 as well as to the first week of 2020.