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UT sees jump in unemployment claims from shutdown

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- State officials say Utah's unemployment claims have jumped more than three times their normal rate as thousands of furloughed federal workers have filed for benefits since the partial shutdown of the U.S government on Oct. 1.

State Department of Workforce Services spokesman Nic Dunn says there have been almost 7,000 claims from Oct. 1 through Oct. 7, and more than 4,600 of those were federal employees.

The Salt Lake Tribune first reported the jump in jobless claims on Thursday.

Dunn says that if Congress approves back pay for the furloughed workers, the workers will be required to repay the benefits.

Dunn says as long as the shutdown in Washington, D.C., is not long-term, Utah can handle the uptick in claims for several weeks and possibly months.