FARGO — The number of North Dakotans filing new unemployment claims totaled 10,504 for the week ending April 11.

That's a drop from the week before when 16,167 initial claims were filed, which was a high point in filings since mid-March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began a widespread economic shutdown.

The latest jobless numbers released Thursday, April 16, by Job Service North Dakota showed that 1,900 people filed initial claims for unemployment in Cass County last week, down from 3,827 claims filed the previous week.

For all of North Dakota, as of Thursday a total of 52,444 new jobless claims had been filed since March 16, according to Gov. Doug Burgum's Thursday briefing on the coronavirus.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development reported that since mid-March, 464,137 people had filed initial unemployment claims. About 93,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment in Minnesota last week, down from 115,773 the week before.

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Since mid-March, Clay County saw 1,909 initial claims filed, or 5.3% of the county's 2019 labor force, while Mahnomen County saw 609 jobless claims filed, or 27% of the county's 2019 labor force, state numbers show.

Becker County in Minnesota saw 3,074 unemployment claims filed since mid-March, or 16% of the 2019 labor force.

Nationally, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that last week jobless claims numbered about 5.2 million, a decrease of about 1.3 million from the previous week's level.

The latest jobless numbers combined with numbers from the three preceding weeks bring the total number of Americans filing for unemployment since the pandemic struck to about 22 million. That's just below the approximately 22.4 million jobs added to non-farm payrolls since November 2009, when the country began adding jobs following the Great Recession, a CNBC online report said.

The Labor Department also reported Thursday that the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 8.2% for the week ending April 4, an increase of 3.1 percentage points from the previous week.

The 8.2% rate was the highest seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate ever seen. The previous high was 7% in May 1975.