ROCHESTER, Minn. - More than 2 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits last week. More than 40 million have filed for first-time unemployment benefits since the US economy shut down for the pandemic.
The most recent data from April shows the unemployment rate in Rochester is sitting at 6.9%. While that's an increase from February and March, it's still well below the state and national rate.
Even though more businesses are starting to reopen, that doesn't necessarily mean the unemployment rate is going to go down. That's because many people are getting an additional $600 a week in unemployment benefits during the pandemic.
"There might be some people that are holding out just because they can stay at home and make as much money as they were making at their job. And so that's going to be a unique little balance we have go through," said Ryan Nolander, President of Rochester Area Economic Development, Inc.
According to the Department of Labor, the hospitality industry accounted for the bulk of jobs lost in April.