CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — The number of people in Wyoming who applied for unemployment benefits last week dropped compared to the week before, as the state begins to ease restrictions meant to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Some 2,026 people sought temporary unemployment assistance in the state during the week ending May 2, according to state and federal data.
That’s a 42% decrease from the number of claims filed the prior week, but a 515% increase in the number of applications filed during the same week last year.
Since March 14, the state has processed 32,290 claims for unemployment. That represents 12.0% of the total workforce of eligible for the unemployment insurance program.
Several counties have received approval from the state’s top health official to ease the coronavirus-related restrictions on restaurants and other businesses.
There were 27 new coronavirus cases reported on Wednesday, the largest single-day total since the virus was first confirmed in the state, according to the Casper Star-Tribune.
There were 479 confirmed coronavirus cases and seven deaths as of Wednesday.
As of April 25, 16,566 total people were receiving unemployment benefits. That represents 6.1% of all eligible employees in the state.
Nationally, the equivalent of one in five Americans who had been employed in February have filed for unemployment benefits since the outbreak began.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks.
For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.
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