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State unemployment rate 9.7% in April

The state unemployment rate in April was 9.7%, up from 3.9% in March. That’s the biggest monthly jump since the state started the data series in 1990.

Unemployment claims dropped a little last week in Missouri, but the number is still historically high.

The state labor department reports 27,882 claims in the week ending May 16. That’s the lowest in a week since coronavirus concerns started hurting the economy in mid-March.

The state reports 563,976 unemployment claims since the week ending March 21.

More from The Associated Press:

More than 2.4 million people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the viral outbreak that triggered widespread business shutdowns two months ago and sent the economy into a deep recession. Roughly 38.6 million people have now filed for jobless aid since the coronavirus forced millions of businesses to close their doors and shrink their workforces, the Labor Department said Thursday. Another 2.2 million people sought aid under a new federal program for self-employed, contractor and gig workers, who are now eligible for jobless aid for the first time.

(This story was last updated at 9:33 a.m. Friday.)

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