SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s unemployment claims slowed again last week but remained at unprecedented levels as jobless residents received a combined $78.6 million in state and federal funds, new figures released Thursday showed.

The 7,135 people who claimed unemployment in the week ending May 9, a 21% decline from the previous week and far less than the pandemic peak of 33,000 claims March 29-April 4, state figures show.

The decrease came after Republican Gov. Gary Herbert allowed some businesses to reopen, easing restrictions aimed at keeping the coronavirus at bay.

The claims filed each of the past eight weeks were more than any single week on record, including during the height of the Great Recession in 2009 when the high was about 5,000 in one week, state figures showed.

A total of nearly 153,000 people have requested unemployment since March 15 as the pandemic forced businesses to close. The staggering figure easily surpassed yearly totals for each of the last five years when the state averaged about 73,000 claims a year, state figures show.

The state has paid out $120 million in claims in that span, while the federal government has doled out $187 million in stimulus funds.

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