ST. PAUL — As more and more unemployment applications roll in across the state, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development has been able to get a more-detailed read on who exactly is being affected by the COVID-19 crisis.

In total, there were 149,443 new unemployment applications filed in Minnesota from March 16-23, nearly 10 times the amount that was were filed in all of February combined.

A deeper look at those number show there were 48,540 from the food services industry, 10,844 from the personal care industry, 10,657 from the sales and service industry, and 9,271 from the office and administrative support.

“We are just starting to get a sense of who is being affected by some of these changes,” Grove said. “We want to continue to be transparent about that.”

Additionally, Grove said the unemployment data shows women have been more affected than men.

“We usually see female applicants come in at about 33 percent of the population applying for unemployment and that’s jumped to 63 percent,” Grove said. “We think that’s in large part due to the high share of female employment in the leisure and hospitality industry and personal care industry.”

There has also been a shift downward when it comes to the age of people applying for unemployment.

“The largest age window of applicants for unemployment is between 22 years old and 29 years old,” Grove said. “We have had 32,000 applicants come into that window alone.”

The spike across the board stems from last week’s executive order from Gov. Tim Walz that forced a wide range of closures for businesses throughout the state due to the coronavirus pandemic.

You can apply for unemployment online at You can also apply via phone by calling 651-296-3644 in the Twin Cities area or 877-898-9090 in the Greater Minnesota area.

“We do ask that people not call in for general information,” Grove said, strongly encouraging people to apply online. “We are seeing a lot of calls from people that have filled out their online application and then are dialing in to make sure we got it. That holds up the line for people that actually have to get in and get help with their password or something to log into their account.”

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