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New law adjusts Mo. unemployment benefits

A new law went into effect Jan 1, imposing stricter rules for unemployment benefits in Missouri.

The law bases the amount of time one can receive the social service on the current unemployment rate.

The maximum duration of those benefits is now 13 weeks, down from 20 weeks before the law went into effect.

Missouri now has the second smallest window for unemployment benefits in the country, as North Carolina has a 12-week maximum.

“[It] puts a little bit of pressure on them to go ahead and start that re-employment activity as soon as they can and that’s what we try to do is help them get back into that mindset of looking for jobs,” saidBryan Barnes of the Division of Workforce Development.

As of December 2015, Missouri’s unemployment rate is 4.7 percent, the lowest it has been since spring 2006.

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