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.
Originally published on Wed December 19, 2012 6:11 am
Missouri’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest point in four years.
November’s jobless rate is at 6.7 percent, down from 6.9 percent in October. At the same time, though, the state lost 6,800 non-farm jobs last month. John Fougere is with the Missouri Department of Economic Development.
“There’ll be blips from time to time, but we never focus on any one month of data when it comes to the number of jobs gained or lost, but instead the overall trend," Fougere said. "Right now the overall trend of Missouri’s economy appears to be positive.”
Growing across the Midwest is a strain of hybrid corn that should perform well under the driest conditions. Harvest Public Media’s Rick Fredericksen says this summer’s parched farmland is providing an ideal test.
Missouri added about 6,000 jobs in April as its seasonally adjusted unemployment rate edged down slightly.
Figures released Tuesday by the state Department of Economic Development also show that Missouri added more jobs in March than originally thought. The March job growth was revised upward from 4,800 to 6,800 new jobs.
Missouri's unemployment rate declined one-tenth of a percentage point in April to 7.3 percent. The department said that is the lowest level in 40 months.
The national unemployment rate was 8.1 percent in April.
About 20 supporters of the post office rallied in downtown Columbia Thursday. Gathering outside Senator Claire McCaskill's office, supporters held banners and flyers opposing Senate bill 1789, which would cut funding to the U.S. Postal Service. They say a cut from 6 days to 5 days in service will slow down many deliveries. Eale Breedlove, a 30 year veteran of the postal service, says it could also put many veterans out of a job.