HELENA — Applications for unemployment assistance increased in Montana for the third consecutive week, even as national numbers are falling, the U.S. Employment and Training Administration said Thursday.
Nearly 2,400 Montana residents submitted new application during the week ending Aug. 29, an increase of 3% from the previous week.
Since mid-March, the state has processed more than 141,000 new claims. Nearly one-third of Montana’s workforce has been unemployed at some point during the pandemic.
Gov. Steve Bullock was scheduled to announce a new relief program using coronavirus relief funding Thursday.
Health officials reported 184 new coronavirus cases, bringing the number of confirmed cases to nearly 7,900. The number of cases reported each day remains steady but high.
The number of infections in Montana is thought to be far higher because not everyone has been tested and people can be infected with the respiratory virus without having symptoms.
The virus has killed at least 111 people in Montana, including 11 in the past seven days.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.