The State Department of Labor is asking the federal government for $260 million to cover a projected short-fall in the unemployment trust fund … the fund’s expected to go into the red as early as next week.
According to spokeswoman Wanda Seeny, as Missouri’s unemployment rate sits at seven point three percent … the highest in 25 years … the fund that pays out unemployment benefits is on the verge of being insolvent.
Seeney says the borrowed money will take the fund through April, when taxes employers pay on employee wages will come in and replenish the account. She says repayment to the federal government would also begin at that time.
Seeney says out-of-work Missourians should not worry about their benefits, that the department will do whatever it takes to ensure benefits continue to those who qualify.
The last time the state had to borrow money to cover benefits was in 2003 and 2004, which was paid back in 2006 and 2007, leaving little time for the fund to recover, Seeney says.