Louisville malls reopen May 20, cleaning efforts increase at Oxmoor Center

Frequent cleaning is done in high traffic areas at Oxmoor Center as it reopens to the public 

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Kentucky has received nearly 800,000 first-time jobless claims since the pandemic restrictions began in mid-March, putting the Bluegrass State near the top of the list of states for unemployment claims as a share of the workforce.

U.S. Department of Labor data released Thursday show another 47,036 initial unemployment claims in Kentucky in the week ended May 16, the lowest weekly figure in the two months since the pandemic forced restaurants, bars, daycares, gyms and other businesses to abruptly close.

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About 36% of the workforce in Kentucky has applied for unemployment benefits, a higher share than any state except Georgia, according to an analysis by the Economic Policy Institute based on claims through the week ended May 9.

Indiana is in the middle of the pack, with 19% of its workforce having applied for unemployment benefits.

Hoosier claims for jobless benefits ticked up last week, bucking the national trend. Indiana has received 670,584 jobless claims in the two months of the pandemic restrictions.

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Nationally, more than 2.4 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week in the latest wave of layoffs from the viral outbreak.

Roughly 38.6 million people have now filed for jobless aid since the coronavirus restrictions began, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2020 WDRB Media. All rights reserved.