The U.S. Department of Labor has announced grants to 30 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands for Unemployment Insurance (UI) program integrity, performance and system improvement projects. As part of the nearly $170 million worth of of awards, Puerto Rico was given a $1.4 million Program Integrity Award to assist in the prevention, detection and recovery of improper UI benefit payments.
Puerto Rico’s August unemployment rate of 13.5% represented its lowest level since December of 2008, but the island’s level of unemployment remained higher than that of any State in the country. The national average was 8.1%.
The Labor Department announcement detailed the states and territories that received grants and the amount each entity received. No awards were granted to any of the U.S. freely associated states (Palau, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands), which do not qualify for financial assistance under federal grant programs.