Louisiana Governor signs unemployment insurance indexing bill

Louisiana Governor Jeff Landry (R) signed House Bill 119 on Jun. 17, which will index the length of unemployment insurance benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. The new law reduces 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 statewide unemployment rate is at or above 8.5%. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2025. 

Louisiana’s current maximum benefit length is 26 weeks, and the state’s unemployment rate as of April was 4.3%, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The maximum weekly benefit will fall by 14 weeks (from 26 weeks to 12 weeks) if the unemployment rate remains stable. 

The law also provides for an extended benefit period of up to eight additional weeks for workers participating in approved training programs.

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.

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