Number of Delaware jobless claims ticks up slightly

DOVER — The number of initial unemployment claims filed by Delawareans ticked up slightly last week even as businesses begin to prepare for a gradual reopening of the state’s economy amid the coronavirus epidemic.

The Delaware Department of Labor reported Thursday that just under 5,600 initial unemployment claims were filed for the week ending May 16. That’s up from about 5,200 the previous week and the first in-crease in seven weeks.

Officials said almost 96,000 jobless claims have been filed since March 15, and more than $234.7 million in unemployment benefits paid. That total includes $142 million in federal funds and almost $92 million from Delaware’s unemployment insurance trust fund.

The number of jobless claims approached 19,000 for the last week of March and the first week of April.

The previous monthly record for unemployment claim filings in Delaware over the past three decades was a little more than 9,600 in January 2002.

Gov. John Carney has already loosened some of restrictions on economic activity under pressure from the business, tourism and agricultural communities but has kept others in place, including a ban on hotel room and beach home rentals. The official first phase of a gradual reopening of the state’s economy is to begin June 1.

Meanwhile, a ban on sunbathing and swimming at Delaware beaches will be lifted at 5 p.m. Friday.

Helpful Coronavirus links

Delaware Division of Health Coronavirus Page
CDC: About the Coronavirus Disease 2019
CDC: What to do if You Are Sick
Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
AP News Coronavirus Coverage
Reopening Delaware: Resources for Businesses
Delaware Phase 2 guidance

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