(Bloomberg) -- Maryland Governor-Elect Wes Moore said he wants to index the state’s maximum unemployment-insurance payment and minimum wage to inflation, which could help residents both in and out of work grapple with US price swings.

The maximum weekly benefit amount Maryland workers can currently receive through unemployment insurance is $430, unchanged from 2020 and 2021, excluding supplemental federal support. US inflation, however, has surged more than 14% over that same period. 

Moore hopes to see “inflationary adjustments and price indexing” in unemployment benefits, he said in an interview with Bloomberg News in Washington Thursday. He added the state needs to fix the broader unemployment-insurance system. 

The pandemic-driven recession threw millions of Americans out of their jobs in a matter of weeks. Nationally, states struggled to distribute unemployment benefits in a timely manner, and Maryland was no exception. With many economists expecting a recession next year, the need for benefits is expected to grow.

“We have to make sure the system works,” said Moore, a Democrat. “And I think that goes back to a larger challenge and a larger dynamic that the state of Maryland has right now where we have watched an atrophy of state government.”

--With assistance from Alex Tanzi and Scott Lanman.

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