FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The number of laid-off Kentucky workers seeking assistance continued to decline last week, when about 47,000 people applied for jobless benefits as the economy shifts into more activity.

The latest round of filings for jobless aid was the lowest in two months, when the surge in Kentucky’s unemployment claims was in its early stages amid the global coronavirus pandemic.

The 47,036 Kentuckians seeking jobless aid last week was down more than 22,000 from the prior week, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

But damage to Kentucky’s workforce continued mounting. The number of Kentuckians seeking unemployment assistance approached 800,000 in the past nine weeks as the virus caused businesses to shut down.

Kentucky’s economy is starting to get rebooted. Last week, reopenings occurred in manufacturing and construction and at office-based businesses, pet grooming and photography businesses. Auto and boat dealerships relaunched in-person service. Non-essential retail businesses reopened Wednesday. Restaurants can reopen dining rooms Friday at 33% capacity.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up within weeks. For some, especially older adults and those with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, even death.

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