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339,000 Missourians have filed for unemployment since mid-March

The state said Wednesday that unemployment in March rose 1% from February, to 4.5%, though that number is expected to balloon in April
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — More than 339,000 Missourians — nearly 11% of the state's labor force — have filed for unemployment since mid-March, including 101,722 for the week ended April 11, as the coronavirus continues to upend the economy. In Illinois, 141,160 claims were made in the week ended April 11, down from 201,041 in the prior week.

The U.S. Department of Labor reported 5.2 million claims that week, meaning 22 million Americans, 13.5% of the labor force, have filed for unemployment in the last four weeks.

The 101,000 Missouri claims last week are a jump from 91,000 the week before, but lower than 104,000 for the week ended March 28. As of February, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said Missouri had a civilian labor force totaling more than 3.1 million people.

A St. Louis Fed report Wednesday said layoffs had stricken industries including hotels and hospitality, specialty retailers, auto dealers and restaurants. A Wall Street Journal report Tuesday said jobs in corporate law, government and health care were part of a second wave of layoffs hitting white-collar work.

The state said Wednesday that unemployment in March rose 1% from February, to 4.5%, though that number is expected to balloon in April. Its unemployment insurance trust fund had a balance of $1.06 billion as of Feb. 28. 

RELATED: These St. Louis companies have laid off or furloughed workers

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