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  • Unemployment in Missouri

    High unemployment rates have always been a serious issue for governments to tackle. The recession and many other issues have caused the unemployment rate within America to reach a new all-time high. The American government has been working hard to increase the number of available jobs for people. However, the unemployment rate continues to increase. If you live in Missouri you are probably aware of just how badly the unemployment rate is affecting the state. An alarmingly high percentage of Missouri’s residents are living off of welfare and unemployment benefits. Missouri currently has a very weak economy.

    What can be done to improve the job market in Missouri?

    The Missouri government has been tackling the issue of high unemployment rates for decades now. The reason why the government was unable to lower the unemployment rate is due to the fact that there are hundreds of different factors that are raising the unemployment rate. In other words, there are hundreds of different solutions to increase the number of available jobs. For example, if American companies stop outsourcing work to other countries but instead give the work to American people – the job unemployment rate will drop significantly. Alternatively, if you cannot find a job in Missouri it is recommended to simply move to a state with more available jobs.

    Unemployed in Missouri

    If you are currently living in Missouri and you have been recently fired from your job you will probably start to panic knowing how difficult it was to get your last job. Keep looking for a job and if you are unable to find one you should consider signing up for some unemployment benefits. The Missouri government will grant benefits to people who are unemployed as long as they continue to search for a job. A lot of people, once they get their unemployment benefits simply stop looking for jobs; which is another reason why the unemployment rate in Missouri is sky rocketing. Do whatever it takes to find a job no matter what – think outside the box. Look for a need in your city and provide a solution, you can be creative.


    It will always be difficult for a government to lower the unemployment rates of its country because hundreds of different factors come into play. Even if you fix the issues with the economy in a certain state you will still have to deal with lazy people. Not everyone wants to work. However, if you are currently unemployed keep your head up and keep looking for work no matter what. It will get frustrating and at times you will want to rip your hair out but you will find a job soon – you can always start your own business.






    Missouri Unemployment and Jobs Update

    The Missouri unemployment rate remained unchanged for over a year. As of June 2012 the state did see an increase in the unemployment number. The jobless rate went from 7.1 to 7.2 which equates to approximately 7,700 jobs lost. This is below the National average which is at 8.4 percent. Every month the state is provided with a U-3 report from the economic development department. Some think that this report does not actually reflect what the “real” unemployment situation is.

    There are six different levels of unemployment reports. The one that is usually released to the states and measures the job situation across the US is the U-3 report. This report is released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and measures the total unemployed as a percentage of the civilian workforce. These numbers do not account for workers that may only have a part time job or who are only marginally attached to their current jobs. If we were to measure those workers we would look at the U-6 report.

    If we look at the Missouri unemployment rate in terms of the U-6 report which is more true to the actual amount of people out of work or barely making it in today’s economy that 7.2 percent rose to 14.4 percent. Although this number seems high it is actually a point lower than the National U-6 average of 14.5.

    Missouri is known as a large crop state. Experts attribute the rise in the unemployment rate to the excessive heat and drought that the state experienced this year. Farm jobs used to account for the largest percent of employment in the state; however, recently things are shifting.

    At a National Career Fair hosted in St. Louis this year there were more employers available than potential employees. This was because there is a rising amount of sales jobs coming to the region. Sales jobs do not draw in the crowd that salaried jobs do because they usually only get paid on commission. This does bring in hope for the Missouri unemployment rate because if there are not any farm or clerical jobs available there are at least plenty of sales jobs.

    Ironically at this same Career Fair many employers opted to have a table at the event due to the fact that they were not receiving the amount of applications that they needed. These business owners are not sure if their advertising is not working or that there is a new trend developing among job seekers. Industry experts do believe that potential employees are wanting more face to face contact with employers and the engagement that social media is now bringing to the world.

    The Missouri unemployment rate has been one of the better situations in the nation. Most in the state consider themselves lucky to live where the unemployment rate has remained unchanged for over a year prior to this last increase. Although the numbers can seem daunting at first it is important to keep in mind that Missouri has maintained all of their percentages below the National average.  With the Presidential Election approaching all eyes are on Missouri since they are a major swing state. The outlook for the state remains promising for the unemployment rate to fall once again in next few years.

    The State of Missouri is the first state to join the Extended Benefits program and then drop out voluntarily. Why would a state reduce the unemployment benefits available to its citizens when it is the federal government that is footing the bill? Politics. This is a political statement designed as a show of self-sufficiency and as statement for federal government to stop spending money on long term unemployment benefits.


    According to estimates, this change in unemployment benefits will affect over 34,000 workers who will no longer receive Extended Benefits. 10,000 have been cut off from benefits immediately and 24,000 who would otherwise be eligible will not receive EB payments. This will mean $105 million in benefits that will not be available to unemployed workers.

    Other States

    Missouri is not alone among states that are not requesting funds from the federal Extended Benefits program. Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, Oklahoma, Utah, Mississippi and Maryland have also decided to not join the program, but Missouri is the first to join and then opt out.

    This is a matter of principle. Republicans argue that unemployment benefits are too high for a country with a climbing deficit, Democrats reason that a stimulus is required to help the most vulnerable find work and get out of financial difficulties. This is similar to the Republican’s argument that the wealthy, those more likely to invest in new jobs, need tax cuts as a way to stimulate the economy and create more jobs.

    Sadly, this ideological struggle is not helping the thousands of unemployed workers (over 9 percent of all workers) who are still searching for employment.

    Other states have opted for a different route. They have accepted the EB program but have decided to reduce their state Unemployment Compensation program. This reduces cost of UI on the state while accepting federal handouts. States who have done this include, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan and Oregon.

    Supporters of cancelling unemployment aid from the federal government feel extended benefits stifle self-sufficiency and promote laziness. Of course, many unemployed workers and and union leaders beg to differ. In states like Mississippi, where unemployment rates have remained so high during so long (over 9 percent for two years) can make it hard for the most enthusiastic of work searchers to find work.

    A similar scenario occurred in South and North Carolina. North Carolina had the opportunity to pass a law that would allow the eligibility requirements for the State EB program to continue but preferred to let the deadline pass. In South Carolina, however, legislation was passed so the EB could continue despite the unemployment rate having dropped three months in a row, which is the most usual trigger for EB benefits to end.

    Federal and State aid is available for counties in Missouri which have been hit by natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes and severe storms. In the last weeks five counties have been declared the site of a major disaster. When the President declares a county as the site of a major disaster a battery of programs and services become available to it.

    Programs available to counties hit by natural disasters include unemployment assistance, funds and support to rebuild damaged communities and insurance for injuries sustained while rebuilding. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits available to workers who lose their jobs due to a natural disaster.


    If you lose your employment as a direct result of a natural disaster, you may qualify for Disaster Unemployment Assistance, a program similar to the state unemployment insurance benefits but with a broader base of eligible recipients and six extra weeks of benefits. The DUA program is also available for self-employed workers who can no longer arry out their line of work because of the damage caused by the disaster. As of today the counties of Butler, Mississippi, New Madrid, St. Louis and Taney are eligible for DUA benefits and claims will be accepted up until June 16

    What to Do?

    If you think you qualify for unemployment assistance visit the claim Division of Missouri’s Employment Security by clicking here. You must first file a regular unemployment benefits claim to get your name registered in the system and be eligible for further assistance. Once the President declares a major disaster in your county you have up to 30 days to file your claim. The standard benefit package for workers without unemployment due to a major disaster is 26 weeks of unemployment benefits.

    Notice that these benefits are only available if you are not eligible for state unemployment insurance. You cannot claim for both UI benefits and DUA benefits. Workers whose employers do not report their income for unemployment purposes may also claim this assistance by providing alternative evidence of their employment, such as check stubs and W-2 forms.

    Self-Employed Requirements

    Self-employed workers who are affected by a natural disaster may also qualify for benefits if they can provide the following evidence: a 1040 Tax Return, a Schedule C Profit and loss from their business, or if they are farmers, a Schedule F profit and loss form. Notice IRS forms 4797 and 4835 will not be acceptable as evidence of self-employment.

    For more information on the filing process and updates on the major disaster status of your county call 800-788-4002.

    Do you have a question about Missouri’s unemployment insurance system? This article provides you answers to the three most frequently asked questions by new applicants for UI payments. If you have just lost your job, read this article carefully and file your application as soon as possible. If you take too long to apply, you could lose some of your benefits.

    How Can I Get Help Finding Employment?

    Good question. The main purpose of the Tennessee Department of Labor is to get you back to work and there are several programs and organizations you can use to improve your chances of finding work.

    One of the best places to find help is visiting (physically or online) one of Missouri’s Career Centers. These centers can provide you with career assistance, training opportunity and access to job openings. Click here for an interactive map to find your closest career center office in Missouri.If reading maps is not your thing Winking smile , you can also call 1.888.728.JOBS and ask for the contact details of your closest Career Center Office.

    Do I have to report to a DWD Career Center in person?

    Yes, every four weeks. Unlike other states, Missouri requires you to report to a Career Center every four weeks unless you are specifically told this is not necessary. For instance, if you have a fixed date for returning to work or you are taking part in training program, you may not have to report in person. However, instead of viewing this as a burden, take advantage of the many services available to your when you visit a Career Center. Click here for contact details to your closest center.

    How will my benefits be paid?

    Gone were the days of paper checks in the mail. You can now choose to receive your unemployment benefits by two methods: Direct Deposit or a Missouri Access MasterCard.

    The Direct Deposit method will send your payments directly to your current bank account. You just need to provide your bank account’s details and your payments will be deposited weekly. Click here to fill in a direct deposit application online.

    Direct Debit Card. The default method for receiving your unemployment benefits is a Missouri Access MasterCard. If you do not provide details about your bank account within two weeks of filing your claim, you will be sent a debit card to access your funds. Notice you may be given a debit card even if you do not qualify for benefits. If this is the case keep your card until it expires so you can use it if you become eligible in the future.

    If you have successfully filed an unemployment claim you can expect to receive your first payment 18 to 20 days later. Any delay indicates that an investigation has been started by the Division of Employment Security (DES) due to issues concerning your claim.

    You will not be notified when they process the claim. Issues concerning your claim may be due to your employer, who will be informed of the claim and who may believe that you do not qualify for some reason. Try not to be to overly concerned it could be that there is only a need for more information for this reason or any other kind of issue you will receive a questionnaire or perhaps a notice so that you can be interviewed by telephone.

    If you are eligible for unemployment insurance (UI) benefits you will receive your payment the next working day after your weekly certification claim has been filed. If you wish to track your payments or claim balance you can use the (DES) website www.moclaim.mo.gov Or the automated IVR telephone system.

    There is no charge for using the system. If the issue is not resolved then it could be that you are not eligible for UI benefits in spite of being insured. Some possible reasons are, being discharged from work due to misconduct, quitting your job without valid reasons, refusing job offers or being unable or unavailable for work. If this is the case you will receive a” Notice of Deputy´s Determination” giving the reasons for denial of benefits, information as to how these benefits could become payable and also your appeal rights. Your appeal rights means that if you disagree with the determination believing a law to have been misapplied or that certain facts were not taken into consideration then you can appeal the decisions. Of course if you don´t understand the determination notice contact your Regional Claim Center. The determination also tells you your time limit for filing an appeal. This can be done by mail or fax to the address given on the determination. Late filing will mean that you lose your right of appeal.

    While you are waiting for a decision you must continue to file each week that you are unemployed. This way you will be eligible to receive the benefits if the decision is in your favor. If your employer files an appeal against a determination which finds you eligible his appeal will not stop your benefits unless he wins the appeal. It is very important that you present your side of the case because otherwise the employer might win and you might have to pay back any benefits you have received. So you need to be present at the hearing when your employer appeals. The Missouri (DES) website mentioned above is available for any help you might need to get you through your period of unemployment.

    If you are eligible for unemployment benefits, This information will help you better understand how your weekly unemployment compensation is calculated. You could still be eligible for unemployment benefits if you have experienced a reduction in work hours. You must at the same time as the part-time work continue to look for full-time work and be able to accept it. To be eligible you need to declare your gross wages. Of course the benefits will be reduced. The amount of reduction is calculated by subtracting $20 or 20% of your weekly benefit amount- whichever is the most-and the amount is rounded down to the nearest dollar. Taxes are deducted from this amount if applicable. If you refuse employment you may be denied benefits and if you have not worked since the last time that you claimed you will not qualify to receive the UI (Unemployment Insurance) benefits. Normal claims when not working part-time are calculated as your WBA, Weekly Benefit Amount which is 4% of the average of the two quarters during which you earned the highest income. The maximum payment in Missouri is $320 weekly.

    If you claim on internet don´t forget to complete the form correctly and receive a confirmation page. Otherwise you may have to start again. If you choose to claim by phone call the number of your area Regional Claim Center (RCC) This is an automated IVR system so choose the claim file option and answer the recorded questions by pressing number 1 for “yes” and 9 for “No”. There is opportunity to correct any mistakes but don´t hang up before you hear that your claim is accepted or you will have to call again and start from the beginning.

    If you need to change or correct anything after you have completed the weekly filing you will have to contact your area RCC. To make the weekly certification claim you will need to use your SSN and your personal identification number. You will also need to calculate your income from part time work during the week of your claim including self-employment wages, for which you must know the number of hours worked even if you have not yet been paid for those hours. Contact your area claim center for filing assistance.

    To file your claim on internet just answer the questions. You will get a confirmation page as evidence that your claim has been filed.

    By phone Answer all questions until you hear “your weekly claim has been filed” The first weekly claim is counted as a “waiting” week and you may receive this amount as your last payment of your regular unemployment insurance claim. The State of Missouri Benefit Payments will help you get through a difficult time of unemployment.

    If you have lost your job you should act immediately to do two things: claim benefits and find a new job. In Missouri you have a 24 hours a day internet filing system except from 11:30pm Saturday to 12:31am Sunday. The internet can also be used to file the weekly certification claim.


    If you prefer to claim by telephone the filing system is Monday to Friday (except holidays) between 8:0am and 5:0pm Central time. Calls are answered in the order they are received. The calls have to be made from touch-tone phones-you will be answered by an automated response system. So choose option 1 and follow the instructions. If you don´t get through to the system at first, continue trying until you are in line to speak with a representative. If you hang up and call back, you will be put at the back of the line again. When you claim for unemployment insurance benefits a claim is registered and this can be completed or updated at a local Missouri Career Center or through the Missouri Career Source Website. In either case you will have to use your social security number. To continue receiving your benefits you will be required to report in person every four weeks to a Career Center on a regular workday between 8.00am and 4.00pm.

    Benefits are paid either by direct deposit or by Missouri Access Master Card. Your claim date is always the Sunday of the week you claim. You will receive a form called Notice of Initial Determination Status as an insured worker. This form will show you weekly and maximum amounts and the start date for you claim. As soon as the claim is filed you must file weekly certification claims and search for work. If any of the information seems to be incorrect you must contact your area unemployment office before the deadline detailed in the letter.

    You will be eligible for benefits if

    1. You lost the job due to lack of work or some other reason out of your control.

    2. You earned a minimum of $2,250. $1,500 of which you earned in one of the calendar quarters and at least $750 during the remaining of the base period.

    3. Your wages during your base year were at least 1.5 times your highest quarter wages, or you must have earned a minimum of $19,500 in two period quarters.

    If you are a resident of Missouri and have recently become unemployed you are probably asking yourself: How do I qualify for Missouri UI benefits? This article will answer this question and help you file a successful application for unemployment benefits in Missouri.

    There are seven main requirements to qualify for unemployment insurance benefits in Missouri. Four you need to meet to qualify and three you need follow to remain eligible.

    Legal Requirements

    1) To qualify for UI benefits you must be either totally unemployed or working reduced hours due to no fault of your own. In other words, if you lost your job due to negligence or gross misconduct, you may not qualify for unemployment benefits. However, the standards that govern employers and the Missouri department of Labor are not identical, so it is often worth applying for UI benefits even if your employer believes he or she was justified in firing you. For instance, your employer has the right to terminate your contract if you are regularly late to work, but if you are late due to no fault of your own, such as taking care of your sick children or lack of transport, you may still qualify for UI benefits.

    2) You must have worked in Missouri during your base period. Your base period includes the first four calendar quarters of the last five calendar quarters from your termination date. These are the calendar quarters used to calculate your UI: January to March (Quarter 1), April to June (Quarter 2), July to September (Quarter 3) and October to December (Quarter 4).

    Financial Requirements

    3) Your total income during your base period must be at least $2,250, of which you must have earned at least $1,500 in one of your base period’s calendar quarters and $750 during the rest of your base period.

    4) Your total wages during the base period must be at least one and a half times your highest quarter wages, the calendar quarter during which you earned the most money. You can also qualify if you earned $19,500 or more during two of the calendar quarters in your base period.

    To continue receiving UI benefits you must:

    5) Report any wages you earn while receiving benefits. This includes declaring tips, commissions and additional benefits such as board and lodging you may receive in exchange for work.

    6) You must be fit and willing to work every week you claim for UI payments. This means you cannot claim UI benefits on weeks you were not fit or available to work. There are other special benefits you can apply for if you are sick or suffer a disability while collecting UI benefits.

    7) Accept any suitable work you are offered. “Suitable” includes any job you are qualified and fit to perform with higher wages than your unemployment benefits.

    Unemployed workers in Missouri may be required to report at a DWD Career Center once every four weeks. If you fail to report, you could lose your unemployment insurance benefits. However, avoiding the risk of losing your benefits is not the only reason to visit a Career Center or a Claims Center. These offices provide unemployed workers with useful services you can use to help you find a new job.


    Career centers in Missouri provide unemployed workers with access to approved training providers in a wide variety of subjects. Visit Missouri’s Education and Career Hotlink for more information on the education and training opportunities available to unemployed workers. This website provides a search engine you can use to search for available courses. Institutions approved by Missouri’s Labor Department include the Arcadia Valley Career Technology Center, the Arkansas Academy of Hair Design, the Xenon International Academy, the Fairfield University or the Flight Safety International college. These and many more training facilities can help you train for a new career while you receive unemployment insurance benefits.

    Browse Job Openings

    The Missouri Career Centers also provide access to a state-wide work search database. Click here to visit Missouri’s Career Source search engine. You can use this database to search for jobs by zip code, county, wage bracket, day or night shift, as well as by industry and job title.

    Employment Economic Information

    Career Centers can improve your chances of success when searching for work by providing accurate and reliable information on Missouri’s work market. For instance, you can gain access to Missouri’s Rapid Response JVS site. This website provides up-to-date information on statistics, requirements, wages, legal issues and certification requirements you can research by occupation, industry and geography. You can use this tool to find out where there is more of a need for your trade, or which trades are in higher demand in your area. Click here for access to Missouri’s Rapid Response Data Wizard Page.

    Career Center Locations

    There is a state-wide network of career centers in Missouri stretching from Maryville to Caruthersville. Click here to access an interactive career center map you can use to find the closest career center to you.

    Claim Centers

    There are four regional claim centers in Missouri. You should call your local center if you require any information on the unemployment application process. Below is a list of the contact details for each center.

    Jefferson City RCC
    Local Calling Area 573-751-9040
    Outside Local Calling Area 800-320-2519

    Kansas City RCC
    Local Calling Area 816-889-3101
    Outside Local Calling Area 800-320-2519

    Springfield RCC
    Local Calling Area 417-895-6851
    Outside Local Calling Area 800-320-2519

    St. Louis RCC
    Local Calling Area 314-340-4950
    Outside Local Calling Area 800-320-2519

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