JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — More than 500,000 Missourians received about $3.8 billion in unemployment benefits from federal funds during the coronavirus pandemic so far, according to Auditor Nicole Galloway.
The report, released Monday, said the federal assistance was received through October. Additionally, about 1,600 nonprofits and government organizations collected about $22.8 million in emergency unemployment relief, Galloway’s report said.
“Thousands of Missouri families lost their jobs during the health crisis through no fault of their own, and these programs have provided a lifeline to them,” Galloway said. “This report shows the impact of the pandemic and the extent of assistance needed. Missourians continue to need support because the economic effects of this crisis are not over.”
The Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation accounted for the most benefits awarded to Missourians, totaling more than $2.9 million and impacting 541,400 people. The program ran from the end of March until July 31.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program awarded more than $290 million to aid about 121,500 people; the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program impacted more than 81,000 people with about $145 million.
On the state level, unemployment benefits have totaled nearly $1.15 billion from January to November, according to figures provided by a Department of Labor spokeswoman. The state paid about $1.06 billion of those unemployment benefits from March to October — the same time frame detailed in Galloway’s report.
Missouri saw the largest spike of initial unemployment claims in March and April as the pandemic began to take effect in the state:
- Week of March 21: 42,207 claims
- Week of March 28: 104,230 claims
- Week of April 4: 91,049 claims
- Week of April 11: 101,722 claims
- Week of April 18: 59,271 claims
Missouri’s unemployment rate hovered at 4.4 percent with 37,053 initial unemployment claims filed in the month of November, according to the Department of Labor.
Galloway’s office also released a report Monday highlighting Missouri’s use of federal funds awarded through the CARES Act. The state has about $3.18 billion through the CARES Act and spent $1.95 billion. In November alone, Missouri spent $432.7 million, according to Galloway’s report.
Gov. Mike Parson approved the Missouri Legislature’s supplemental budget package earlier this month, approving the distribution of about $1.27 billion.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.