More than 450,000 people currently are collecting unemployment checks in Louisiana, compared to fewer than 20,000 at this point in 2019, according to Louisiana Workforce Commission data.
Faced with that level of need for unemployment aid, the trust fund balance had fallen to $352 million by the last week of July, Edwards said, and at its current pace of spending was fewer than seven weeks away from running dry.
That means Louisiana is expected to drop its maximum weekly benefit even lower to $221 within a few months, and the taxes charged on employers will go up.
Louisiana lawmakers passed a bill to lessen the severity of the short-term tax hikes that will fall on businesses. But Edwards warned that when Louisiana exhausts its trust fund, it will have to borrow dollars from the federal government, with eventual repayment through additional charges on businesses.
The president of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, Stephen Waguespack, also is calling on the state’s…