Another 31,901 Arizonans applied for first-time unemployment benefits last week
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Another 31,901 Arizonans applied for first-time unemployment benefits last week

From the May's Tucson-area coronavirus coverage: Cases rise, judge rules that state can keep nursing home data from public series

Sun sets behind the darkened Galaxy Theater closed in the aftermath of the COVID-19 restrictions, on March 25 in Tucson.

Another 31,901 Arizonans applied for first-time unemployment benefits last week.

That is a slight increase over the figure for the prior week.

The new figure brings to nearly 577,000 the number of people in Arizona who have sought unemployment compensation during the COVID-19 pandemic.

That translates out to about 16% of the total workforce of nearly 3.6 million people.

Gov. Doug Ducey's stay-at-home order for Arizonans not engaged in "essential" activities expired early Saturday, May 16. And Ducey has relaxed his rules about which businesses can operate, though they have to live within restraints on the number of patrons during the pandemic.

It remains to be seen how those changes will affect the number of people working.

Aside from many businesses being limited to the number of customers, there is some question about how many Arizonans now feel safe to go out and mingle.

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