jobless

A bill in the Missouri legislature would reduce the maximum number of weeks residents could claim jobless benefits to one of the lowest levels in the country.

Lawmakers in a House committee on Tuesday approved legislation to reduce the time laid off workers could receive benefits from 20 weeks to 13 weeks, if the state's jobless rate is below 6 percent. The current unemployment rate is 3.5 percent.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to a bill that would link the duration of jobless benefits to the state's unemployment rate.

Workers who lose their jobs currently can collect unemployment benefits for 20 weeks. Under the bill, 20 weeks of benefits would be available if the state's average unemployment rate is at least 9 percent.

The maximum duration of jobless benefits would decrease one week for each one-half percentage point drop in the unemployment rate. The minimum duration would be 13 weeks when the jobless rate is less than 6 percent.