Ongoing unemployment claims in North Dakota continued to decline in September to their lowest point since COVID-19 first arrived in the U.S. in March 2020.

From Aug. 29-Sept. 4, there were 2,197 continued unemployment claims. That number fell even further from Sept. 5-11 to 2,008 continued claims. From Sep. 12-18 there were 1,888 continued claims and from Sept. 19-25 there were 1,791 continued claims, according to Job Service North Dakota.

Construction workers continue to be the largest sector of continued unemployment claims statewide, accounting for 285 of the continued claims.

In Richland County, continued unemployment fell from 32 to 27 to 24 and back up to 26 during the same time periods.

The manufacturing sector has 10 continued claims in Richland County, as of the most recent data released, the highest of any other specified sector.

Statewide, the largest total number of continued claims since the pandemic began was 40,543 during the week of May 3-9, 2020.

Continued claims kept declining until late November 2020. Claims began to climb again until late February 2021 before declining to their new current low.

The largest total number of continued claims in Richland County was 770 during the week of April 19-25. Much like that statewide trend, the number of continued claims have declined over time, with occasional, slight increases.

Initial unemployment claims declined statewide during September.

From Aug. 29 - Sept. 4 there were 326 initial claims. That number decreased to 234 initial claims from Sept. 5-11. Initial claims slightly increased to 245 from Sep. 12-18 and increased again to 281 from Sept. 19-25, according to Job Service North Dakota.

Richland County saw one, three, four and two initial claims during the same time periods.

Statewide, initial claims have followed a similar trend to continued unemployment claims with the peak of 16,128 initial claims occurring the week of March 29, 2020-April 4, 2020.

Since then, the number of claims have largely continued to decline, with some minor upticks.

Statewide, September 2021 had the lowest number of initial claims since the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

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