Half Of States Are Ending Increased Unemployment Benefits As Governors Say Businesses Need Workers
A growing number of Republican-led states are rejecting increased unemployment benefits meant to help Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, a move they say will help business owners who can’t find staff. On Tuesday, Maryland became the 25th state to announce it will end the $300 supplemental unemployment benefits starting July 3. One week ago, Nebraska also said it will also cease participation in the other pandemic-related unemployment benefits, including those for gig workers, starting June 19; that same day, Florida said it will end the enhanced benefit June 26.
“Our health and economic recovery continues to outpace the nation, and we have reached the benchmark set by President Biden of vaccinating 70% of adults,” said Maryland Governor Larry Hogan in a statement. “While these federal programs provided important temporary relief, vaccines and jobs are now in good supply. And we have a critical problem where businesses across our state are trying to hire more people, but many are facing severe worker shortages. After 12 consecutive months of job growth, we look forward to getting more Marylanders back to work.” ;
“The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state,” said Abbott in a statement.;
In Oklahoma, the governor announced the first 20,000 Oklahoman on unemployment benefits who return to the workforce will receive $1,200 using American Rescue Plan funds.;
Many Workers In States That Are Cutting Benefits Will Be Desperate To Keep Body And Soul Together Said Stephen Wandner A Senior Fellow At The National Academy Of Social Insurance
Republican-led states are cutting jobless Americans from federal unemployment aid in hopes that it will push more people to apply for job openings.
Some state lawmakers are pulling the plug on enhanced federal unemployment benefits.
Since the onset of the pandemic, every state has accepted federal unemployment aid that enabled them to distribute benefits to out-of-work people who normally would not qualify for them. States have also been handing out extra federal benefits including an additional $600 a week at one point to all unemployed workers on top of their state benefits.;
These enhanced unemployment benefits were set to expire in September, but a growing number of states want to end them sooner in part because of mounting complaints from employers who cannot fill job vacancies because, they say, overly generous federal unemployment benefits are keeping would-be workers at home.;
Some 18 states are opting out of federal unemployment benefits programs. The states, which all have Republican governors, include Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.
We have flooded the zone with checks that Im sure everybody loves to get, and also enhanced unemployment,;Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader, said last week.
More than 4 million Americans arent working because theyre afraid of contracting coronavirus
Are Unemployment Benefits Taxable
Yes and no.
Unemployment benefits are generally taxable. Most states do not withhold taxes from unemployment benefits voluntarily, but you can request they withhold taxes.
But under ARPA, $10,200 of unemployment benefits from 2020 will be tax-free for households with a combined income of less than $150,000 .
That applies to taxpayers filing joint returns, as head of household, or with single status. But the $10,200 exclusion applies separately to each spouse.
If you filed your income taxes before ARPA passed, the Internal Revenue Service will refund any overpayment you may have made related to unemployment benefits.
The IRS says taxpayers will not have to amend their returns or do anything else in order to get the proper adjustment, but stay on top of that. Any refunds should start appearing in May 2021.
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Cutting Back Ui Benefits Wont Solve The Child Care Crisis
The COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to go to hybrid lessons and child care centers to close, resulting in womens labor force participation falling to a thirty-three-year low in January, and as of April 2021, employment was down far more among women, especially women of color, than among men. In Montana, one of out of eight workers quit a job due to the lack of child care in 2020. Research found that nearly 30 percent of child care centers closed in South Carolina because of the pandemic, and the recovery wont come fast enough for those cut off from pandemic benefits. Of the eighteen states that have cut off pandemic benefits, only six allow for state unemployment benefits in situations when child care is not availableleaving no safety net for many working parents.
The employer segments complaining the most about employer shortages should be training their attention on working with their governors to resolve child care issues in their states if they want workers to be available for jobs.
Comments For Yes More People Went Back To Work In States That Ended The $300/week In Federal Unemployment Benefits
I guess all those pay raises will now go away come September as well.
There were pay raises in certain industries yet in others there werent any.
The upshot is those employers that needed someone had to pay up but those that could wait did.
My comment was meant to be snarky and cynical.
It wasnt met to taken literally.
Its simple. Our corrupt government which is filled with self-serving career politicians, and that includes the Congress, Fed, Treasury, etc., is the PROBLEM. Either they are all incredibly stupid and shortsighted and dont recall even the most recent history, or this is all a well calculated and deliberate scheme to inflate away the debt by stealing by means of runaway inflation the life savings of those who have worked their fingers to the bone for every single dollar they still have left. Why else would you continue to incentivize people not to work and be unproductive when there are massive shortages everywhere? Ultimately, this will lead to mass starvation and massive unrest, but then that would effectively thin the herd which is something else they probably would like to see. Vote them all out and lock them all up. They are soulless criminals drunk with unchecked power.
House price inflation = house price GROWTH
And all of that is reliant to a large degree on the credit bubble and Fed monetary policy.
Its not the wrong fraudster. Theyre both symptoms of the same disease.
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States Are Already Sending More Stimulus Checks To Families Here’s What It Means For You
Some governors are giving residents more stimulus money and teacher bonuses. Is your state on the list? Here’s what you should know.
Three stimulus checks helped many people pay for household expenses during the pandemic.;
So far, three stimulus checks have been sent to eligible families from the federal government, and advance child tax credit payments;are coming monthly through December . But with the rise in;delta variant;cases, the pandemic continues to make a huge impact on the economy and families. And even though some people may qualify for up to $1,400 in additional stimulus money if they had a baby this year, that money won’t come until next year.;
The big question is, will more money come this year? The answer is tricky. Some governors are giving their residents additional financial relief. California residents just got a second round of;Golden State Stimulus checks;for $600 . And other states are giving teachers bonuses . But as of now, Congress doesn’t plan to approve another federal stimulus check this year. Lawmakers are focused on the $1 trillion;infrastructure bill;and the $3.5 trillion federal budget package that could provide aid in other ways.;
These States Are Already Paying Out The New $300 Unemployment Boost
Several states have already begun administering the latest $300 weekly enhancement to unemployment benefits, a week after President Donald Trump signed the Covid relief package to extend federal jobless aid during the coronavirus pandemic.
The latest stimulus bill signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, extends federal programs by 11 weeks to help freelancers, self-employed, gig workers and the long-term unemployed, and it reinstates the weekly federal enhancement that expired in July 2020, this time at a reduced rate of $300 per week.
The president’s delay in signing the bill led lawmakers and policy experts to worry the timing would cause a lapse in benefits for some 12 million Americans and their families in the new year. But some state agencies were able to avoid a delay in payments for expiring programs and have begun issuing the $300 weekly enhancement to claimants starting this week, reflecting the benefit period that ended on Jan. 2 or 3, depending on the state.
Volunteers behind the site UnemploymentPUA.com created a tracker of where the extra $300 payments are already going out, based on information from state agencies as well as crowdsourced updates from workers across the country.
Here are the states that have already begun issuing or processing the $300 weekly unemployment boost this week as of Tuesday morning:
This article has been updated with new information.
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That Boost Will Most Likely Last Six Weeks
In his executive memorandum, Trump said that those FEMA funds to cover the $300 benefits for states would expire on December 6, or until the pot of money runs out, whichever happens first.
Yet, unemployment experts estimated that the money wouldnt last more than six weeks, though they also voiced concerns that the first states to apply for LWA would be at the greatest advantage, potentially getting more funds than the states that applied later.
FEMA has since announced new guidelines to prevent that from happening. Under those provisions, approved grant applicants are cleared to receive an initial obligation of three weeks of funding. Most of the time, Americans see that total in one lump-sum check, rather than three individual payments, says Gary Burtless, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who specializes in unemployment insurance .
What happens next depends on the pot of money that remains, with additional disbursements made on a week-by-week basis in order to ensure that other states can get equal access to the pot of money that remains. That continues up for up to three more weeks.
States are supposed to divvy up those extra payments themselves, adding it as whats called a top-up benefit to what individuals on regular state UI programs and the CARES Act-backed Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program receive.
So far, 20 states have depleted those extra funds. Another 18 states are making payments and 11 more are currently pending.
States Can Use Rescue Funds To Extend Unemployment Benefits
Still, even as the U.S. economy recovers, Yellen and Walsh said it “may make sense” for unemployed workers to continue receiving additional benefits in states where unemployment remains high. They said the rise in the;COVID-19 delta variant “may also pose short-term;challenges to local economies and labor markets.”
For states that want to keep extra benefits going, the administration is emphasizing that states;can use their portions of $350 billion in direct aid from the American Rescue Plan.
“Where a more gradual wind down;of income support for unemployed workers makes sense based on local economic conditions,;American Rescue Plan funds can be activated to cover the cost of providing assistance to;unemployed workers beyond September 6th,” Yellen and Walsh said.
Letting the;expanded;benefits end stands in contrast to the;Biden’s administration’s move this month to issue a new federal moratorium on evictions for renters;unable to make payments;in areas hardest hit by COVID-19. The freeze expires Oct. 3 after a previous moratorium ended Aug. 1.
The administration said the Labor Department will be ready to assist states that want to use existing unemployment insurance infrastructure for enhanced benefits that are funded by rescue funds. The Treasury Department also announced an additional $47 million in new CAREER grants to help Americans find a path back to employment.
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In A Handful Of States Where The Governor Hasnt Ended Federal Unemployment Benefits Early There Are Calls From Lawmakers For Such Steps To Be Taken
Citing labor shortages due to overly generous unemployment compensation, the governors of more than two dozen states have ended or will end at least one or all of the federal unemployment insurance programs early, nearly all Republican led. In a handful of other states with Democrat governors but Republican-controlled legislatures, Republican lawmakers are pushing to end the $300 weekly unemployment booster.
States are taking different approaches to encourage their residents to go back to work as the economy reopens. Four of the states that are ending participation in the federal programs have opted to give those that reenter the workforce a cash bonus. Many other states have simple reinstated work search requirements instead of dropping the enhanced jobless compensation.
Five Red States Look To End $300 Weekly Unemployment Benefit Will Others Do The Same
A growing number of Republican-led states are moving to end the extra $300 a week in Covid-19 pandemic-related unemployment benefits, arguing that the relief is discouraging U.S. workers from rejoining the labor force.
“It has become clear to me that we cannot have a full economic recovery until we get the thousands of available jobs in our state filled,” Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, said in a statement Monday, adding that the benefit will end next month. “The purpose of unemployment benefits is to temporarily assist Mississippians who are unemployed through no fault of their own.”
Reeves directed the state to enforce all eligibility requirements to receive unemployment benefits, a process that was waived during the pandemic.
Arkansas, South Carolina and Montana have also announced that they would end the program within the next month.
A disappointing April employment report found that the economy gained only 266,000 jobs despite widespread forecasts that the number would top 1 million and that the report would show strong payroll growth after widespread vaccinations spurred Americans to return to activities like dining out and traveling.
The unemployment rate rose from 6 percent to 6.1 percent, which was also contrary to expectations but still down from a peak of 14.8 percent in April 2020, the highest level since the Great Depression. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce blamed the $300-a-week federal benefit for the sluggish report.
Pandemic Unemployment Benefits Expired On Labor Day Could They Be Renewed
Millions of Americans lost jobless benefits this month. Some lawmakers are proposing that aid be reinstated in an upcoming spending package. Here’s the latest.
The September termination of unemployment benefits was considered the largest in US history.;
After the pandemic-related expansion of unemployment insurance ended on Sept. 6, roughly;7.5 million people lost their benefits entirely, with millions more losing the $300 weekly bonus checks. The temporary federal benefits — which included coverage for those normally ineligible for jobless aid, like gig workers and the long-term unemployed — were in place since spring 2020 to help those who lost income from COVID-19 restrictions or layoffs.;
This week, a group of Democratic lawmakers, led by Reps. Cori Bush and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, called to reform the unemployment system in the coming $3.5 trillion House spending plan. In a , they noted that the country now “denies life-saving resources to over two-thirds” of those without jobs, as aid now covers “less than half of lost wages.” They also noted that 90% of unemployed workers and “especially Black and Brown communities” have been left with no benefits at all.;
With the uptick in;delta-variant;cases, the COVID era hasn’t come to a close. Could the White House renew those extra benefits? What can people do who need unemployment coverage to make ends meet? We’ll explain below. This story has been recently updated.;
Fighting Back In Florida
As of May of 2021, there were over 500,000 unemployed people in Florida. The state made the decision to end the $300 federal weekly boost to unemployment on June 26, but lawyers in the state are now preparing to file a lawsuit to get that boost reinstated.
The argument is that there’s still a large number of people in the state who remain jobless, and that pulling boosted benefits before the school year begins is particularly damaging to parents who have been out of a job due to childcare constraints more so than anything else.
Of course, the reason Florida and 25 other states pulled the plug on boosted unemployment ahead of schedule is that officials were convinced that extra money was keeping people from applying for jobs. Many states have been experiencing labor shortages, and the hope was that ending boosted benefits early would incentivize more people to get back to work.
But there are other issues that could be keeping people from re-entering the labor force. In addition to childcare concerns, health fears may be prompting some to stay on unemployment as long as possible, especially since mask mandates have largely been lifted and not everyone is able to get a coronavirus vaccine right away.
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Why Did Benefits End Early In So Many States
Citing labor shortages in the spring, 26 state governors claimed pandemic-related unemployment benefits were producing limited incentives for workers to take jobs.;Many economists and analysts disagreed, highlighting several factors that prevented people from finding suitable work, including low wages, lack of health care, inadequate child care and fear of contracting COVID-19.;
With unemployment claims still fluctuating as the economy struggles to return to pre-pandemic “normalcy,” reports are showing that the early cancellation of the federal programs had;little impact on labor markets. A recent;JP Morgan Chase Institute study; confirmed that states that ended supplemental unemployment insurance programs during the summer saw a limited impact on job growth.
According to an August report by the Century Foundation’s Andrew Stettner, “Politics, not economics, drove the attack on unemployment insurance.” The states that cut off the enhanced benefits before the federal expiration were mostly Republican-led.;
Arkansas, Indiana and Maryland were slated to cut off benefits early, but successful lawsuits forced those states to preserve the federal coverage, at least temporarily. In issuing their rulings, judges noted that the ending of benefits made it harder for the unemployed to afford basic needs. Lawsuits were also filed against state governors elsewhere, which were either denied by judges or are still held up in the courts.;