State agency reports unemployment fund to run out in July

State officials estimate that Minnesota's unemployment insurance funds will run out in a matter of weeks as pandemic-related layoffs and furloughs continue to take their toll.

The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) expects the state's UI Trust Fund to run out of money in July. The department said it made a formal request for federal funding earlier this month to ensure that unemployment benefits continue to be paid out.

DEED Commissioner Steve Grove said the state has had to transition to federal funds before and that "it is a clear process laid out in federal law."

Grove said the state has received more than 800,000 applications for unemployment benefits since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 300,000 of those applications came over the course of two weeks in March.

In April, DEED instituted a 13-week extension for people whose unemployment benefits were set to expire.

"The impact of this global pandemic is staggering and has impacted every community in our state," Grove said in a statement. "We know how difficult the past few months have been for so many Minnesotans who found themselves out of work – or working significantly less – through no fault of their own, as well as for the hundreds of thousands of businesses who have had to close, modify operations, change their business practices, and find new ways to bring in revenue or serve their customers and clients."

According to the most recent jobs report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate was at 13.3% nationwide at the end of May, even with the addition of 2.5 million jobs.