Lamont Announces Retroactive Expansion of Benefits for 38,000 Unemployed

Gov. Ned Lamont announced the signing of an executive order Friday morning expanding unemployment benefits for workers impacted by COVID-19.  The order directs the state Department of Labor to expand eligibility for the Federal Lost Wages Assistance Program to Connecticut residents who previously did not qualify.  The federal program, which added a supplemental $300 weekly to benefits for Americans who lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, only applied to workers who had a minimum benefit of $100 per week.  While 160,000 state residents received supplemental benefits, 38,000 others who had lost their jobs due to the pandemic received

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Job Gains, But Mixed Economic Picture as Connecticut Heads into Cooler Months

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Employment data released yesterday by the Department of Labor show that while Connecticut continues to regain jobs lost during the pandemic, the overall economic picture remains mixed according to a variety of industry officials. The 17,000 non-farming jobs gained in September is less than in previous months. The state saw the resurgence of a total of 21,900 non-farming jobs in August and 32,300 jobs in July.  Additionally, while the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics places Connecticut’s employment rate at 7.8 percent, down from 8.1 percent in August, the Office of Research at the Connecticut Department of Labor said this is

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With the Minimum Wage to Increase to $12 on Sept. 1, Elected Officials and Business Owners Debate Possible Delay

Connecticut’s minimum wage is set to increase from $11 to $12 per hour on September 1.  The change is the result of a 2019 bill which increases the minimum wage by $1 per hour every 11 months until it reaches $15 per hour. September 1 will mark the second increase of five. The next increase is scheduled for August 1, 2021, when the minimum wage will increase to $13 per hour.  Advocates say that this wage increase is critical for minimum wage workers who are struggling to pay their living expenses. The unexpected and nearly unprecedented loss of revenue due

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A Closer Look at as much as $7.8 Billion in Subsidies to Connecticut Businesses

Businesses in a range of industries across Connecticut say the federal Paycheck Protection Program helped them keep staff employed as they weathered declining revenues in the early months of the response to COVID-19. Congress authorized the Paycheck Protection Program in March as part of a relief package known as the CARES Act. It’s a loan for small businesses, employing fewer than 500 workers, to cover up to eight weeks of payroll costs, which can be forgiven if the company retains its staff and payroll. As part of the program, the U.S. Small Business Administration has approved 4.88 million loans totaling

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Unemployment by the Numbers

In a typical week unemployment claims statewide for Connecticut sit at about 2,000. In the second week of March that number tripled. In the third week, new claims reached an all-time high of 78,304. But these claims also reflect complex economies and the disparate impacts of efforts to the slow the spread of COVID-19 as they are felt across categories of age, gender, education, industry and location. Those in the beginning of their career, between 20 and 29, have been hit the hardest by layoffs and furloughs across the state. Typically, an equal proportion of claims are filed by those

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Department of Labor Processes $13.8 Million in Self-Employment Benefits in First 24 Hours

Within the first 24 hours of the self-employed unemployment insurance system launch, the Connecticut Department of Labor processed 6,419 claims and $13.8 million in benefits. The new system opened on Thursday May 7, after more than six weeks of delays. “We are very pleased with the system and its performance,” said Nancy Steffens, spokesperson for the Department of Labor. “Those filers that requested direct deposit will have benefits deposited to their bank accounts in three business days and those requesting debit card will find the benefits loaded to their cards when they receive them in the mail.” The $13.8 million

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Connecticut Struggles to Provide Promised Unemployment Benefits to the State’s Self-Employed

On March 29, after two weeks out of work, Chris Read applied for unemployment benefits. Today, more than five weeks later, his application has yet to be accepted and his rainy day funds are almost out. “I haven’t worked in seven weeks and I am self-employed. This is just the end of my rope,” said Read, a carpet installer in southeastern Connecticut. “I feel hung out to dry here.” At the end of March, Read, like many other self-employed individuals across the state, were told that for the first time that they would be able to apply for unemployment benefits

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