Maximum unemployment benefit boosted 11 percent in Louisiana

Staff Report

An 11 percent maximum increase in unemployment benefits has been made available starting in 2022, according to the Louisiana Workforce Commission.

The maximum weekly benefit amount was raised by $28, which brought the total maximum weekly benefit amount to $275 for those who qualify.

The state law passed in June 2021 and went into effect on Jan. 1.

LWC Secretary Ava Cates has said the state has one of the lowest unemployment benefit amounts in the United States, and it has been more than a decade since the amount has been raised.

She also noted costs have gone up over that time.

In this file photo, fast-food restaurant signs advertise available jobs.

Individuals who filed a claim on or after Jan. 2 will see the increase.

Gov. John Bel Edwards previously agreed to end federal unemployment benefits tied to COVID-19 relief funding early in exchange for a permanent increase in benefits for the state.

A total of 26 states ended the $300-per-week federal unemployment enhancement before its scheduled expiration in early September.

Some critics of the payments have argued the benefits discouraged the nation's workers from reentering the work force.