Shutdown leads to 700 more unemployment applications

The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in southeastern Minnesota during July shot up by nearly 700 from the previous year, largely because of the 20-day state shutdown.

In the 11-county region, there were 2,470 initial claims, up 35 percent from July of last year, when there were 1,795, according to newly issued numbers from the Department of Employment and Economic Development.

The biggest jump was in the sector of "public administration" in which 505 people applied for unemployment benefits.

Typically, very few are applications in that sector — it's never risen above 100 in any month in at least a decade, and only 39 were laid off in July 2010. Also increasing were construction and health care and social assistance.

The occupation that was hardest hit was "community and social services," in which 132 were laid off, up from 14 last July.

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