More Missourians than ever before are out of work. Since the coronavirus started creeping its way into the state’s economy in mid-March, more than 339,000 people have requested unemployment aid. That’s nearly double the amount of jobless claims filed in all of 2019. During Thursday’s coronavirus briefing, Gov. Mike Parson says he does not think the state has enough money in its unemployment insurance fund to help everyone requesting aid.
“The frustrating part of it is we’ll get by,” says Parson. “I mean we’ll just have to make more withholds, or we’ll have to cut other agencies or cut other funding. But the reality of it is, we’re hoping that the federal government kind of gets off their, moves forward on their process to getting the money done and getting some of that relief there.”
The federal government’s $349 billion Paycheck Protection Program to help small businesses in crisis ran out of money in less than two weeks.
“Unemployment is going to be an issue,” says Parson. “There’s just record numbers of unemployment. But we’re going to make sure people get money in their pocket and do everything we can within the powers of the state to do that.”
A new U.S. Department of Labor report ranks Missouri’s unemployment trust fund among the bottom 20 states in the country for its solvency.
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