CHART: Sizing up uneven unemployment benefits across the US

For the week ending April 11, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims exceeded 5.2 million, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, bringing initial unemployment filings over a four-week span to more than 22 million.

In Missouri, 95,785 claims were recorded during the week ending April 11, marking the third consecutive week that more than 90,000 people in the state filed for unemployment.

As states implement enhanced unemployment benefits under the $2.2 trillion COVID-19 relief package, unemployed Americans will start receiving a $600 weekly increase for up to four months on top of their normal state benefits. But those state benefits vary widely across the country.

Most states provide average benefits of $300 to $500, according to the Labor Department. The state with the highest weekly benefit is Massachusetts, which pays up to $1,234. Mississippi has the lowest weekly cap, at $235.

The state providing unemployment benefits for the longest duration is Montana, at 28 weeks. Florida and North Carolina provide benefits for the shortest duration, at 12 weeks apiece.

Weekly benefit amounts shown in the chart above are the maximum for each state. Benefit weeks totals shown in the chart don’t include additional weeks of benefits that some states pay under limited circumstances, according to the Labor Department.


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