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State Responds to Rising Unemployment Due to COVID-19

Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

With unemployment claims rising rapidly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Missouri Department of Labor is taking steps to aid both those out of work and impacted businesses.

For workers, the state agency is in the process of waiving the week of waiting requirement before filing for all unemployment claims filed as a result of the coronavirus, according to its website.

For employers, the department is in the process of temporarily waiving unemployment taxes to employers for benefits paid out to claimants as a result of a loss of work due to the coronavirus. The change is authorized under Missouri Executive Order 20-4. Additionally, the first-quarter employer contribution and wage payment due date has been extended until June 1, though the reports are still due by April 30, according to the department’s website. 

Over 104,000 people in Missouri filed unemployment claims last week, a 147% increase from the previous week, according to the Missouri Department of Labor. Job loss tied to COVID-19 was cited in 85% of the claims.

Nationally, 6.6 million people applied for unemployment benefits last week, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The national unemployment rate was 3.5% in February. Data about the unemployment rate in March will be released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Friday. 

To read more, go to our partners at the Columbia Missourian.

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