This is an area, as you will see from the article, that is already struggling with unemployment and poverty – this will only make things much worse. We need to see extensions for the unemployment funding and new jobs and possibilities as part of the relief efforts! Please pray for these areas.

The plant where Joe Wermuth worked in Joplin, Mo., took a direct hit and was wiped out by the massive tornado that hit the town May 22. But he considers himself lucky.

“I’m very blessed not to have lost my home (or) anyone in my family,” he said.

Also, he still has a job. The welding supply company that employs him transferred him to a location in another town not far from his home in Neosho, Mo.

Sadly not all workers have been so lucky. Their homes or places of business have been destroyed in this year’s wave of storms, tornadoes and flooding. That means thousands of workers in the South and Midwest could be out of work for some time, potentially pushing up the nation’s jobless rate and further taxing financially strapped state unemployment funds.

The hardest-hit states already are seeing claims pour in for unemployment benefits. Since a deadly wave of tornadoes swept through Tuscaloosa, Ala., and other Southeast towns in late April, more than 6,000 people have applied for disaster-related jobless benefits, said Tom Surtees, director of the Alabama Department of Industrial Relations. Typically about 24,000 people file for jobless benefits each month in the state, where the jobless rate is 9.3 percent, a bit above the national average.

Read the rest of the story here.