COLUMBIA, MO (AP) -- Another roughly 91,000 Missourians filed unemployment claims amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to state data for the week that ended Tuesday.
Data from the state's labor department show unemployment claims dropped from the previous week's more than 104,000 claims. But claims still are significantly up.
Claims for the past week were more than eight times higher than in all of April 2019, when close to 10,700 claims were filed.
The uptick in unemployment claims this year began in mid-March. For the week ending March 14, Missourians filed about 4,000 unemployment claims. That went up more than 10 times the following week, when about 42,200 claims were filed as the virus struck and businesses closed.
Republican Gov. Mike Parson has said Missouri's Department of Labor and Industrial Relations is overwhelmed by the number of calls from people with questions about filing for unemployment. He said the agency bumped up staffing to about 100 people to answer questions.
Workers can also file unemployment claims online.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are among those particularly susceptible to more severe illness, including pneumonia.