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Minnesota turns to feds to fund unemployment insurance

The state's trust fund is expected to run out of money by July.

ST PAUL, Minn. — The state of Minnesota will begin requesting federal funding for the state's Unemployment Insurance Program.

"This is necessary because based on the clip at which we’re spending our state trust fund, we expect that trust fund to go negative in early July," Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Commissioner Steve Grove said in an afternoon news conference.

Grove said his office has contacted the Department of Labor to request the federal funding. 

"It will not change any of the benefit amounts or pace or efficiency of the benefits people receive," Grove said.

The switch to federal funding is not unusual, the commissioner explained.

"Many many states have already done this, so this is a very common thing, we expect all states will have done this by the end of this pandemic," Grove said.

The most recent numbers reported by the state showed Minnesota's unemployment rate hit 8.1% in April, with a decrease of nearly 360,000 jobs in the first full month of the coronavirus pandemic's impact.

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.