JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Unemployment claims have dropped as Missouri enters Phase 2 of its reopening plan, Gov. Mike Parson said during his briefing Tuesday.
Initial unemployment claims ave dropped from more than 100,000 in late March to just under 20,000 the first week of June, the governor said.
"We look forward to getting our economy going again," Parson said.
As businesses begin to open, there will be changes to unemployment benefit requirements. Beginning the week of July 5, those requesting benefits will have to show they are actively looking for employment. That requirement had been waived.
Employment search activities include filing a job application, attending a job fair, participating in a job interview or attending a skills workshop, according to Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations Director Anna Hui.
Hui reminded those who are receiving benefits that the funds can be taxed.
As of June 16, there have been 16,414 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state and 882 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the state's website.
The state has lifted all restrictions and public health orders. However, local officials can still enact stricter regulations.
Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams said he is monitoring COVID-19 transmission among high-risk groups, like those in assisted living facilities and other group facilities.
"I'd call those not a second wave, I'd call that more of a cluster. Not an outbreak," Williams said.
Parson has asked people to continue to practice social distancing to help reduce the spread of the virus.