22 States Now Dropping $300 Weekly Unemployment Boost Amid Mounting Job Shortage
Republican governors in nearly half of US states have all announced plans to scrap beefed-up federal unemployment benefits they say have disincentivized workers to reenter the workforce.
The shift away from the $300-per-week handout started earlier this month with Montana and South Carolina ending the boost. This week, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas joined the fray to bring the total number of states to 22.
According to the Epoch Times, “Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming—all plan to end the $300 boost, along with other federal unemployment benefit programs, at some point this summer.”
On Monday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott told the Biden administration that his state is “booming” and that employers are hiring in communities throughout the state.
“In fact, the amount of job openings in Texas is far greater than the number of Texans looking for employment, making these unemployment benefits no longer necessary,” he wrote.
Other states, meanwhile, have announced hiring incentives to get people back to work.
New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu said in a Wednesday tweet that “today we launched our SUMMER STIPENDS program to get people back to work, and announced we’re ending our participation in federal unemployment programs.”
The Summer Stipends program offers $500 to $1,000 one-time bonuses for individuals who get a job that pays $25 an hour or less, and stay in that job for at least eight weeks.
“Let’s get back to work,” Sununu said. –Epoch Times
As we noted earlier today, despite the dismal payrolls print, initial jobless claims are just about to pre-COVID levels, with a better than expected 444,000 Americas filing for first-time unemployment benefits last week despite 8.1 million job openings.
In an open letter to the nation’s governors, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) and several colleagues urged states to “put America back to work” by ending the weekly pandemic stipend.
“Unfortunately, we are now seeing the negative consequences of these misaligned economic incentives,” reads the letter. “An estimated 40 percent of the unemployed now earn more staying at home than working, causing severe labor shortages across the country” and impacting several industries.
And according to a recent report by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), a record number of small businesses couldn’t find enough workers to hire in April.
According to economists at Wells Fargo, on average, anyone who made less than around $34,000 per year was better off collecting unemployment benefits than returning to work.
According to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), “It’s not because people are lazy — not accusing anyone of being lazy — it’s because people are logical, because it’s logic that if you’re going to make close to or as much and in some cases more than what you do when you’re at work, you’ll go back to work when that expires.”
Thu, 05/20/2021 – 18:40