Politics

Hurricane Ida reverses downward pattern for Louisiana unemployment claims

Weekly unemployment claims have skyrocketed in Louisiana since Hurricane Ida pounded the southeast area of the state, however they have been at their lowest level this yr earlier than Ida.

The Louisiana Workforce Fee reported 1,712 new unemployment claims have been filed for the week ending Aug. 28, the final reporting date in August and the day earlier than Ida made landfall. The date additionally marked one month since Gov. John Bel Edwards ended the state’s participation within the federal unemployment advantages program associated to COVID-19.

Within the week following Ida, new claims jumped to 9,724; a 468% enhance. The information is the latest out there and doesn’t embody claims occurring after Sept. 4.

The most important unemployment class will increase occurred in lodging and meals companies, well being care and social help and retail commerce.

Edwards was the primary Democratic governor to opt-out of federal pandemic unemployment help, although he efficiently negotiated a everlasting enhance to the state’s weekly unemployment profit quantity with the Republican-controlled Legislature throughout the 2021 legislative session. The settlement was solidified when Edwards signed Home Invoice 183 .

Extra just lately, Edwards lowered eligibility standards to permit for unemployment “disaster-related claims,” which Edwards espoused throughout a Wednesday public radio interview. The adjustments have been made via an govt order that applies statewide.

“We encourage anyone who’s on the market who has an issue with employment associated to the storm to use,” he stated.

Critics have speculated long-term unemployment insurance coverage, together with direct stimulus funds and expanded profit packages such because the baby tax credit score enlargement, have contributed to unemployment relatively than merely maintain earnings from job losses.

Quite a few research, nevertheless, have reached various conclusions. Some present negligible employment features since 26 states, together with Louisiana, ended federal unemployment help earlier than this system’s Sept. 6 expiration. Others present vital outcomes.

A widely-cited August paper by economists and researchers from Columbia and Harvard universities confirmed solely a slight uptick in job progress, which confirmed findings from different research.

A September evaluation by the free market Mercatus Middle at George Mason College cited 13 research analyzing the consequences of elevated unemployment advantages since March 2020. All 13 confirmed elevated advantages have been related to longer intervals of unemployment, the evaluation stated.

The explanation, it defined, is that free authorities advantages have rivaled earnings quantities that could be earned from a job. Put one other means, “unconditional financial grants to unemployed employees have a tendency to lift their reservation wage – the compensation stage mandatory for the employee to take a job.”

Whereas many employees and displaced Louisianans are in professional want of unemployment help, taxpayer accountability represents one other aspect of the difficulty.

Legal professional Normal Jeff Landry stated the state has paid greater than $400 million in pandemic unemployment advantages to people who didn’t qualify, together with $6.2 million to jail inmates and $1 million to lifeless folks.



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