Unemployment Insurance Works to Stabilize Economy
$1.3 Billion Distributed to Missourians thus far in 2009
The Missouri Labor Department announced the Unemployment Insurance (UI) program exceeded $1.3 billion in cumulative stimulus benefit payments and regular state unemployment benefit payments thus far in 2009. These benefit payments provided more than the much needed unemployment assistance to more than 327,247 Missourians throughout the state; they also provided a boost to the local economy.
“The UI program was established to stabilize the economy during tough economic times. This money went straight into the hands of the unemployed to help them purchase groceries, pay their mortgages, and fill up their tanks with gas,” says Department Director Larry Rebman.
According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, personal spending on cars, clothes, food, and other items accounts for 71 percent of gross domestic product. That is slightly above last year’s level and well above the long-term average of approximately 65 percent.
“We know this money went right back out and helped keep businesses going, securing jobs for thousands of Missourians”, says Rebman. “The money being invested into our state is exactly what is needed to stimulate the economy. And, this money is going to the hardest-hit areas.”
The $1.3 billion in UI distributions was comprised of the $25-a-week Federal Additional Compensation enacted by the federal government and made available to Missouri in March 2009 ($118,179,439), the Emergency Unemployment Compensation enacted by the federal government in June and November of 2008 ($229,631,804), Extended Benefits made available through the federal government and passed into the law by Missouri’s legislature in May 2009 ($52,427,910), and regular UI benefits through the state ($919,100,000).
Currently, eligible unemployed Missourians can receive up to 79 weeks of unemployment benefit payments. There currently are 149,524 Missourians receiving unemployment benefits.
For more information about how to file for unemployment, visit the Internet site, www.moclaim.mo.gov. Filing for unemployment in Missouri is a three-step process which entails filing the initial claim once you become unemployed, continuing to file each week until you become employed full time, and reporting to the nearest Department of Economic Development Career Center every four weeks to learn about job training and other educational opportunities, while actively searching for work.