Half of States Stop Unemployment Boost

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many businesses have asserted that the federal unemployment supplement is discouraging people from working at a time when there is a dramatic need for employees in this industry and others.

The Chamber has argued that one in four recipients of unemployment compensation are making more than they earned while working. The Chamber highlighted the restaurant industry but included manufacturing in the analysis.

For that reason, although the American Rescue Plan’s $300 supplement is scheduled to continue until September, 25 states have announced that they are opting out. They are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.

These states will also stop paying pandemic unemployment assistance benefits, which were made available for gig workers and the self-employed, as well as pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, which provides federal benefits for long-term unemployed people who have exhausted their maximum number of weeks on state benefits. All of these states have Republican governors. Other states have instead reinstated the milder requirement that applicants prove they are job hunting.

Sources: The Hill, National Law Review