Nearly 700,000 Marylanders are out of work as a result of efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The Maryland Department of Labor Licensing and Regulation reports that 43,095 residents filed for first-time unemployment benefits during the week ending May 30. That brings the total to 699,846 over the last 11 weeks.
Friday marks 90 days since the first three cases were reported in Maryland and Gov. Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency.
Last week’s claims total is 5,868 fewer than the previous week. The May 30 total is still nearly four times higher than the most filed for any week of the Great Recession.
On Wednesday, Hogan announced that the state will ease more restrictions on non-essential businesses as the state moves slowly into a second stage of his recovery plan. Restaurants still cannot offer indoor seating and large indoor entertainment venues including casinos and movie theaters are prohibited from opening.
Nationally, more nearly 1.9 million people applied for benefits last week, a decrease of 249,000 compared with the previous week. That brings the total of out-of-work Americans to about 42 million since the outbreak began.
The national unemployment rate for the week ending May 23 was estimated at 14.7%.
This story will be updated.