Louisiana’s unemployment trust fund is on course to run dry in about 14 weeks

WWL Newsroom
June 30, 2020 - 8:30 am

The Louisiana Workforce Commission reports over half of the money in the state’s unemployment trust fund has been spent during the coronavirus pandemic.   LWC Executive Director Ava Dejoie says there is growing concern the fund, which was at one time just over one billion dollars, will run dry within 14 weeks

“We’re still paying on average $50 million a week in state unemployment benefits,” said Dejoie.

From March 22nd through June 26th, Dejoie says the state has paid out $3.5 billion in unemployment benefits, with most of that being federal dollars from the CARES Act.

“We’ve paid roughly $613 million in state unemployment benefits.  We have the difference remaining from our collections, so roughly just under $500 million is left,” said Dejoie.

Currently, most unemployed workers are receiving $247 weekly from state funds and $600 weekly from the CARES Act funding, but those federal dollars are set to expire at the end of July.

If the fund goes empty, out of work residents would still receive unemployment. Dejoie says several states have already run out of unemployment money and if it happens to Louisiana, the state will borrow money from the feds like the other states.

“We must pay benefits.  It is a requirement of our agreement of state law and federal law, so not paying state unemployment insurance benefits is not an option,” said Dejoie.

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