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Capitol Briefs: $300M in coronavirus funds going to Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson authorized the transfer of $300 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to the state’s Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund Monday. 

The transfer was an effort to keep Missouri above the level that would trigger an increase in contribution tax rates for businesses. Employers wholly finance the state’s UI fund, and with record unemployment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, businesses were likely to see a tax increase to replenish the fund if it were depleted.

“With over 96 percent of Missouri’s businesses employing 50 or fewer employees, these additional funds will help prevent tax increases for our small businesses and strengthen the UI Trust Fund,” Parson said. “Despite the unprecedented rise in unemployment caused by COVID-19 this past year, our economy continues to come back strong as businesses reopen and Missourians get back to work. We have come a long way since the early days of this pandemic, and an increase in taxes is the last thing Missouri employers need as we continue our recovery.”

  • Anna Hui, director of the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, said more than 45 percent of the state’s workforce is employed by small businesses. 
  • As of February, Missouri’s unemployment rate stood at 4.2 percent, 2 percent below the national average. The state ranked 12th lowest in the country for unemployment in January.
  • Twenty states have depleted their UI funds and have been forced to borrow money to make it up, according to the Governor’s Office.