Mountain State continues to reel as residents file for unemployment aid

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CHARLESTON, WV (AP) — About 4,800 West Virginians filed for unemployment aid last week as the state’s economy continues to reel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new application data released Thursday shows a slight dip from the previous week’s filings. The data comes as Gov. Jim Justice pushes forward with a plan to lift virus restrictions on businesses.

West Virginia’s unemployment rate hit 15% in April and state officials said they have processed more than 164,000 unemployment claims since the pandemic forced widespread business shutdowns.

Nationwide, about 41 million people have applied for jobless benefits since the outbreak began. Many economists predict that the country’s unemployment rate will reach around 20% this month. 

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