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Roughly 12% of southeast Minnesota’s 272,000 workers have filed for unemployment since the closing of restaurants, bars and other businesses in mid-March due to COVID-19

A "Going Out Of Business"sign is displayed outside a retail store in Kentucky, U.S. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg

An estimated 12 percent of southeast Minnesota’s 272,000 workers have filed for unemployment since the closing of restaurants, bars and other businesses in March by Gov. Tim Walz’s emergency orders to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Food and beverage service workers in the region filed the greatest number of claims, according to the data, reflecting the impact that Walz’s emergency decrees have had on bars and restaurants, which are only allowed to serve curbside or by delivery.

They were followed by construction workers, retail sales workers, cooks and food preparation workers, and personal appearance workers.

Although the jump in unemployment in southeast Minnesota was large, the region fared better than most other parts of the state. In the northeast and central regions, 17 percent of workers sought unemployment, followed by the northwest at 15 percent and the Twin Cities at 14 percent. Southwest Minnesota saw 12 percent of its workforce file for unemployment.

The numbers do not reflect the most recent unemployment data released Thursday by the Department of Labor. That showed 3.8 million Americans filing for unemployment in the last week, bringing the six-week total to about 30 million.

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