How many of these evacuees have been working while on the federal dole?
Jobless claims plummet as fewer workers here
By CityBusiness staff report
2006-02-06 2:45 PM CST
BATON ROUGE Hurricane-related weekly unemployment benefit claims continueto plummet, according to the Louisiana Department of Labor.
As of Jan. 28, the number of active claims resulting from hurricanes Katrina and Rita was 125,895. In November, active claims reached 284,717. Active claims have continued to fall since Nov. 27 when the Labor Department reimposed a federal requirement that claimants call the department weekly to report they have looked for work and are available for employment. The requirement had been waived since September for Katrina victims and subsequently for Rita victims.
We requested an executive order from the governor to waive the reporting requirement immediately after Hurricane Katrina. We felt that it was important to get benefits to displaced workers as quickly as possible,Secretary of Labor John Warner Smith said. Since that time, we have been holding job fairs, offering training programs and using whatever means available to us to get people back to work.
Unemployment insurance claims show 64,209, or 51 percent, of all active claims were filed by people living in Louisiana. The rest, 61,686, or 49 percent, have been filed by evacuees living in other states.
A breakdown of the 64,209 claims in Louisiana shows:
Rank, City Number
1, Baton Rouge 14,097
2, New Orleans 9,523
3, Lafayette 7,799
4, Alexandria 5,300
5, Shreveport 4,779
6, Monroe 3,077
7, Other areas 2,494
Benefit claims are divided into two categories unemployment insurance and disaster unemployment assistance. Weekly UI and DUA payments range from $10 to $258 a week. The UI payments are paid from the state Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund. DUA is federally funded.
Department officials said key factors causing the decrease include:
· Claimants return to work.
· Benefits are lost because claimants fail to meet the weekly reporting requirement to look for a job and are ready and available for a job.
· Some simply chose to forego the smaller weekly benefits, which can beas low as $10.