Department of Labor & Industry (DLI) Acting Commissioner Brenda Nordlund
announced today that the agency has distributed over $1 billion in Unemployment
Insurance (UI) benefits to over 107,000 Montanans since the start of the
astonishing sum of money has provided immense relief to impacted workers and
their families during this pandemic,”
“And beyond individual household impacts, these unemployment benefit
dollars have resounded throughout Montana’s economy, allowing continued support
of local businesses and helping mitigate further job losses across our state.”
12 to October 16, DLI has issued a total of $1.01 billion in benefits. The
economic activity generated from these benefits translates to roughly 4% of
Montana’s Gross Domestic Product
replaces an estimated 5% of wage earnings statewide that would have been paid
this year. For comparison, over the same period in 2019, DLI issued $48M in
$1 distributed in unemployment benefits creates $1.90 in economic impact,
meaning that the $1 billion in unemployment benefits generated nearly $2
billion in economic output for Montana’s economy, creating demand for
Montana-made products and services,”
Chief Economist Barbara Wagner said.
breakdown of funding sources is detailed below:
- Seventy percent of the total,
or over $700 million, was distributed through federal Coronavirus, Aid,
Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act programs,
- Twenty-four percent, or $243
million, came from traditional state unemployment benefits.
- The remaining 6% of payments,
or $64 million, were issued through the six-week federal Lost Wage
Assistance program, 75% of which were funded through the Federal Emergency
Management Agency and 25% from state-level Coronavirus Relief Funds.
- Eighty-four percent of the
CARES Act federal dollars, or $592 million, were due to the additional
weekly $600 Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation payment that ended
adjusted resources to account for the increase in claims due to the pandemic.
To ensure eligible Montanans receive payments as quickly as possible, the
claimant work search and waiting week requirements remain waived.
March, the Department has prevented over $360 million in fraudulent UI
payments, ensuring unemployment funds go to eligible claimants and boost
continues to encourage anyone who believes they may be eligible for UI to file
a claim online at MontanaWorks.gov, or at mtpua.mt.gov for those that fall
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance eligibility guidelines.
Those with technical, eligibility, or benefits questions are encouraged to view
the COVID-19 resource website at