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Ballooning Jobless Claims Flood Utah System In COVID Crisis

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Jobless claims in Utah ballooned again as tens of thousands of people forced out of work during the coronavirus crisis flooded the system that had been staffed to handle a trickle during a time of historically low unemployment.

Numbers released Thursday show 28,560 new unemployment claims, a nearly 50% increase from the already record-setting levels of the week before, as businesses close to slow the spread of the pandemic that has infected more than 1,000 people in Utah and hospitalized 100.

State unemployment division director Kevin Burt says there have been nearly as many claims in the past two weeks than all of 2019.