Gov't. Shutdown Leads to Jump in Unemployment Claims

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JEFFERSON CITY - A 10.4 percent statewide jump in unemployment claims led the Missouri Division of Employment Security to extend hours of operation during the current federal government shutdown. 

"We did decide to extend the hours and that's to help all the folks who are trying to file because behind the scenes, we have to process the claims and in federal employees case, get additional information," Department of Labor Director of Communications Tom Bastian said.

The State Budget Director Linda Luebbering told KOMU roughly $500,000 of federal money is funding the extended hours. 

Beginning Monday, the regional claims centers in Jefferson City, Kansas City, St. Louis and Springfield will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Additionally, the regional claim centers will be open on the statewide holiday, Columbus Day, October 14. Bastian went on to say most people call on the phone or use the department's website to file claims, but that the department will get to everyone as fast as possible. 

"Knowing that we have had a 10.4 increase last week, we want to make sure we can get to everybody's claim," Bastian said. 

The department asks that claimants be patient with customer service representatives because there may be longer wait times and the phones may be busy. 

Individuals wanting to file a claim can do so by clicking here.