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Montana unemployment grows to 81K

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Self-employed to begin to receive unemployment benefits

“Town Crier” newsletter – Briefs from the Region (3) – 4/24/20

For many Montanans, Gov. Bullock’s plans to reopen on April 26-27 could not come any sooner—in the last week alone, some 10,000 filed for unemployment, bringing the state’s total to a staggering 81,000, according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor. That’s roughly 16 percent of the workforce, compared to just 3.5 percent in February. According to Montana Public Radio, “The state issued over $62 million in unemployment payments last week, including $48 million in federal unemployment benefits.” Now, as the state moves into the latter half of the second month of this new normal, self-employed, independent contractors and gig workers, who are not eligible for traditional unemployment, are able to file for benefits under the federal coronavirus relief act through a new website at mtpua.mt.gov.

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