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Utah weekly unemployment continues downward trend

The Utah Department of Workforce Services building in Salt Lake City is pictured on Thursday, April 2, 2020. Steve Griffin, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Department of Workforce Services is reporting that there were 5,455 Utahns who filed for first-time weekly unemployment benefits, bringing the total to 97,570.

“We have now received the same amount of claims in the last ten weeks that were filed over the previous three years, while successfully standing up all the federal stimulus benefits made available by the CARES Act,” Kevin Burt, Unemployment Insurance Division director for the Utah Department of Workforce Services said in a press release.

“I can’t say enough about the staff and how hard they have worked to provide this critical benefit to those who desperately needed it.”

This week’s report is down 13% from the 7,135 new claims filed the week before, and the first time that the total number of unemployment claims has dropped below 100,000 since mid-April. 

These numbers come as the national unemployment numbers reach more than 41 million. The US Department of Labor reports that 2.12 million Americans filing first-time unemployment aid.

The good news there, however, is that more than half of those who have lost their jobs to the coronavirus have returned to work.