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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota officials released more information Friday afternoon on the state of unemployment in the state due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

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During a daily briefing with health officials, the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) Commissioner Steve Grove said that more Minnesotans have applied for unemployment benefits since March 16 than all of 2019.

Follow Pat Kessler’s updates from the daily update on Twitter.

Specifically, Grove said 204,158 people have applied for unemployment benefits since March 16. He expects that figure to top 220,000 by the end of day Friday.

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Grove stressed that DEED is working to get through the applications, but it will be a process.

“This is an unprecedented volume,” Grove said. “We just really want to ask you for your patience at this time in this process. We are processing things as quickly as we can.”

Grove suggests people applying for unemployment go to, because phone lines are struggling with the high volume.

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WCCO has also put together a “now hiring” page for the latest job openings during the pandemic.