DES Celebrates 75th Anniversary
Dept. Director and DES Director visit state Regional Claims Centers
To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Unemployment Insurance program, created by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935, the Director of the Missouri Department of Labor and the Director of the Division of Employment Security visited the state’s four Regional Claims Centers (RCC) to thank the employees who work there.
The United States first implemented this Unemployment Insurance program during the Great Depression amid the gamut of social programs introduced by the Roosevelt administration’s Social Security Act of 1935. This vital program allows workers to continue to support their families until they get back to work.
“Unemployment insurance is an important tool in stabilizing Missouri’s economy during difficult times,” says Department Director Larry Rebman. “So far this year, about $1.2 billion has been infused into Missouri’s economy by the more than 305,000 people who have used the benefits provided by this safety net to help put food on the table and pay their rent or mortgage as they look for new jobs.”
For every one dollar spent on UI benefits, $1.60 is generated in economic activity. Approximately 129 million Americans work in jobs covered by the UI program. This is approximately 98% of all wage and salary workers. The average weekly benefit amount in Missouri is $255 and the maximum weekly benefit amount is $320.
“I believe it is important to recognize the hard work and dedication these state employees put forth to serving the unemployed citizens of Missouri, “ says DES Director Gracia Backer. “The customers they interact with on a daily basis are those who have fallen on hard times and are desperate for an open ear. This is a difficult task but the staff at the RCCs do it with professionalism and compassion.”
With the passage by Congress of the recent unemployment extension law last month, an overwhelming number of staff has volunteered to work overtime, with some getting to work as early as 7 a.m., leaving as late as 6:30 p.m., and even working on Saturdays to ensure claims are processed accurately for unemployed Missourians. Since the beginning of this year, the staff at the RCCs has answered more than 700,000 telephone calls from claimants.
Both Rebman and Backer will visited all four RCCs in the state with the first visit taking place at the Kansas City RCC on Monday, the St. Louis RCC on Tuesday, the Jefferson City RCC on Wednesday, and the Springfield RCC on Thursday.
For more information about unemployment insurance or to file an unemployment claim, visit www.labor.mo.gov.