JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) -- An estimated 1,200 people have sought unemployment benefits in Joplin after their workplaces were damaged or destroyed by the deadly May tornado.
The estimate on jobless benefits comes from the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. The state labor department says it is unable to calculate precisely how many people are receiving regular unemployment benefits as a result of the May 22 disaster.
The number of people drawing jobless benefits in Joplin could have been even higher than it is.
The chamber estimates that 5,000 people had their jobs affected by the tornado, but employers have kept about 3,500 on the payroll -- either by shifting them to different locations or simply paying them until their businesses can be rebuilt.