About 4.5K file for jobless aid as reopenings continue

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This image provided by West Virginia governors office, Gov. Jim Justice holds a news conference regarding the COVID-19 epidemic, Friday, May 29, 2020 in Charleston, W.Va. (West Virginia governors office via AP)

CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — About 4,500 West Virginians filed for unemployment aid last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses in the state.

The filings released Thursday are slightly down from the previous week though they remain historically high.

State officials said they have received 250,000 unemployment claims in the last 10 weeks. West Virginia’s unemployment rate hit 15% in April, the last recorded month.

Nationwide, nearly 1.9 million people filed for jobless benefits last week. Republican Gov. Jim Justice has allowed most businesses to reopen under his phased plan to lift virus restrictions.

On Friday, casinos and movie theaters can resume operations. 

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