The Louisiana House of Representatives on May 10 passed a bill that would index the length of unemployment insurance benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. House Bill 340 would reduce the maximum number of benefit weeks to 12 when the unemployment rate is at or below 5%. The bill also proposes capping the maximum benefit length at 20 weeks when the unemployment rate is at or above 8.5%.
Louisiana’s current maximum benefit length is 26 weeks, and the state’s unemployment rate as of March was 3.6%, according to data from the St. Louis Fed. The maximum weekly benefit would fall by 14 weeks (from 26 weeks to 12 weeks) if the bill becomes law and the unemployment rate remains stable.
The bill now advances to the state Senate for consideration.
Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.
The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.
For information about unemployment insurance programs across the country, click here.