Withdrawal Of $300 Weekly Unemployment Benefits: What Should You Know
Updated : May 26th, 2021
The American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Joe Biden on March 11, 2021, provides $300 weekly unemployment benefits to qualified unemployed Americans. Though the Rescue Plan boosted $300 benefits through September 2021, recently, the U.S. Chamber Of Commerce is calling for Washington to stop paying the additional benefits to the citizens.
Why Is The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce Calling For Washington To Stop The Payments?
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the extra $300 unemployment benefits disincentivize workers to look for a job or get back to work. Therefore, it is calling for Washington to stop paying the extra $300 a week immediately.
Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer, stated, “The disappointing jobs report makes it clear that paying people not to work is dampening what should be a stronger jobs market. “We need a comprehensive approach to dealing with our workforce issues and the very real threat unfilled positions pose to our economic recovery from the pandemic.”
“One step policymakers should take now is ending the $300 weekly supplemental unemployment benefit. Based on the Chamber’s analysis, the $300 benefit results in approximately one in four recipients taking home more in unemployment than they earned working.”
According to FactSet, the Department Of Labor Friday said U.S. businesses added just 266,000 jobs in April 2021, a significant drop from March 2021 and much below the nearly 1 million jobs expected by the economists.
States Opting Out Of $300 Weekly Unemployment Benefits
States that planned to stop participating in federal pandemic unemployment programs are:
The state announced that it would withdraw from the $300 weekly benefits and other federal pandemic unemployment programs, effective June 19.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey stated, “As Alabama’s economy continues its recovery, we are hearing from more and more business owners and employers that it is increasingly difficult to find workers to fill available jobs, even though job openings are abundant.”
To further encourage its residents to get back to work, the Alabama Labor Department has reinstated work search requirements to those claiming unemployment benefits. Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington said in a statement, “We have more posted job ads now than we did in either February or March 2020.”
Commissioner Tamika L. Ledbetter announced that the state would stop participating in the pandemic, federal unemployment program on June 12.
“This period has been like no other in our history. However, unemployment insurance is a temporary support system,” she said. “As Alaska’s economy opens up, employers are posting a wide range of job opportunities, and workers are needed,” she said in a statement.
Arizona will stop paying out the federally-issued extra $300 unemployment benefits, effective July 10. Instead, the state will give out $2,000 return-to-work bonuses for those who get back to full-time jobs.
“In Arizona, we’re going to use federal money to encourage people to work…instead of paying people not to work,” Governor Ducey said in a statement. “With ample supplies of the COVID-19 vaccine on hand and millions of Arizonans vaccinated, people feel safer and are finally returning to life in Arizona as we knew and loved it before,” Ducey continued. “People are back in the office, restaurants are at full capacity, and tourists are flocking to our state.”
Arkansas is the third state to announce its plans to withdraw from the additional $300 per week unemployment benefits that its unemployed residents were receiving. Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that the residents would stop giving the $300-a-week payments on June 26, 2021.
“The $300 federal supplement helped thousands of Arkansans make it through this tough time, so it served a good purpose,” Hutchinson said in making the announcement Friday. “Now we need Arkansans back on the job so that we can get our economy back to full speed.”
The Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) announced Florida will withdraw from the federal pandemic unemployment programs starting the week of June 27. “Transitioning away from this benefit will help meet the demands of small and large businesses who are ready to hire and expand their workforce,” stated DEO executive director Dane Eagle.
“The jobs are there,” stated Governor Ron DeSantis. “I’m confident, with almost half a million job openings, that people are going to be able to get a job and get back to work.”
Governor Brian Kemp announced that the state would soon stop participating in the $300 weekly federal unemployment supplement.
“What I’m seeing on the ground here is that every small business owner and the workers that are currently working, they need more people. It is hurting our productivity, not only in Georgia but across the country,” the governor said. “We’ve got to get more people into the workforce, we wanna encourage people to do that, we have a lot of resources for them… we’ve got job training, we’ve got child care assistance for lower-income families, and we’ve got jobs available.”
Recently, Idaho Governor Brad Little announced that Idaho would end its participation effective June 19. “Employers are telling me one of the big reasons they cannot recruit and retain some workers is because those employees are receiving more on unemployment than they would while working,” Little said in a statement. “We see ‘Help Wanted’ signs everywhere. Idaho has the strongest economy in the nation, and we are a top 10 state for best employment, but there is more we can do. It’s time to get back to work.”
The state will stop participating in the federal pandemic unemployment programs effective June 19. That includes the additional $300 payments, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and the $100 extra weekly benefits for those who earn more than $5,000 in self-employment income.
“There is help wanted signs posted all over Indiana, and while our economy took a hit last year, it is roaring like an Indy 500 race car engine now. I am hearing from multiple sector employers that they want and need to hire more Hoosiers to grow,” stated Governor Eric Holcomb. “We have a myriad of work options in every region of our state, with many more coming online every week.”
Governor Kim Reynolds announced that the state would withdraw from the $300 weekly unemployment benefits effective June 12. “Now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these payments are discouraging people from returning to work,” Reynolds said. “Our unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent, vaccines are available to anyone who wants one, and we have more jobs available than unemployed people.”
Mississippi will withdraw from the $300 weekly benefits and other federal pandemic unemployment programs in early June 12. “The purpose of unemployment benefits is to temporarily assist Mississippians who are unemployed through no fault of their own,” Reeves posted on social media on Monday. “After many conversations over the last several weeks with Mississippi small business owners and their employees, it has become clear that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and other like programs passed by the Congress may have been necessary for May of last year but are no longer so in May of this year. Therefore, I have informed the Department of Employment Security to direct the Biden Administration that Mississippi will be opting out of the additional federal unemployment benefits as early as federal law allows – June 12, 2021.”
Governor Mike Parson announced that the state would stop paying $300 weekly unemployment benefits on June 12, 2021. The state would also stop giving out PEUC and PUA benefits.
“Many business owners and employers across the state are struggling, not because of COVID-19 but because they can’t find the people to fill the jobs,” stated Governor Parson. “They were intended to be temporary. Continuing these programs only worsens the current workforce issues we’re facing.”
Montana was the first state to announce its withdrawal from the $300 weekly unemployment benefits program. On Wednesday, Montana Governor Greg Gianforte said he would withdraw from the program by June 27, 2021, due to the labor shortage. Gianforte further stated that the state would instead offer a one-time $1,200 bonus for returning to work.
Montana will also end payments to those workers receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), including contract and gig workers.
13. New Hampshire
New Hampshire is soon set to end the $300 benefit and introduce a $500-$1,000 return-to-work bonus for those who find steady work.
“The federal government wants the program to go all the way until September. That’s not going to happen. We will most certainly end the program a lot sooner than that,” stated Governor Chris Sununu at the state’s weekly COVID-19 briefing.
The governor further added, “The number of people that will likely be incentivized to come back into the workforce – it’s not tens and hundreds of thousands that you might see in other states. You’re talking (5,000)… maybe 10,000 people.”
14. North Dakota
Recently, Governor Doug Burgum announced that the state would terminate its participation in the federal pandemic unemployment programs, effective June 19.
“After fighting through severe stress and financial hardship, many North Dakota businesses that survived the pandemic are now facing an unprecedented labor shortage as they attempt to recover,” Burgum said. “These federal unemployment programs were meant to supplement state benefits and provide short-term relief for displaced and vulnerable workers, and these programs have accomplished their goals but are now counterproductive. Safe, effective vaccines have been available to every adult in North Dakota for months now, and we have an abundance of job openings with employers who are eager to hire.”
Unemployed Ohioans will not receive extra $300 unemployment a week starting June 26, announced Governor Mike DeWine. “The federal assistance, that extra $300 a week in federal pandemic unemployment compensation, is, in some cases, certainly discouraging people from going back at this point in time. The assistance was always, always intended to be temporary,” DeWine said.
Governor Kevin Stitt announced that the state would stop participating in $300 benefits, PUA and PEUC benefits, effective June 26. Instead, the state will give $1,200 to those who return to their jobs and work at least 32 hours per week.
“The reality is Covid is no longer an emergency in the state of Oklahoma, and there are 68,000 job openings that were just posted last month,” Stitt said. “You’ve heard from the employers today. It is time to get back to work.”
17. South Carolina
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster announced that the state would end the $300 benefits per week program in June 2021. In addition to $300 benefits, South Carolina will also end the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and Pandemic Unemployment Assistance programs.
Governor Henry McMaster stated, “This labor shortage is being created in large part by the supplemental unemployment payments that the federal government provides claimants on top of their state unemployment benefits.”
18. South Dakota
The state announced that it would stop participating in the $300 benefits and other federal pandemic benefits in the week ending June 26.
Marcia Hultman, Secretary of the State Labor and Regulation, told Dakota News Now that the state is “open for business” and ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits is a “necessary step towards recovery, growth, and getting people back to work.”
“Businesses across the state continue to say they would grow and expand if it wasn’t for the lack of workers. Help wanted signs line our streets,” Hultman said.
Governor Bill Lee announced Tuesday that Tennessee would stop participating in the $300 and other federal pandemic unemployment programs effective at 11:59 p.m. on July 3.
“We will no longer participate in federal pandemic unemployment programs because Tennesseans have access to more than 250,000 jobs in our state,” Lee said in a statement about the decision. “Families, businesses, and our economy thrive when we focus on meaningful employment and move on from short-term, federal fixes.”
Governor Abbott announced that the state would opt out of the $300 benefits programs on June 26. “The Texas economy is booming, and employers are hiring in communities throughout the state,” Abbott said. “The number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits.”
Governor Spencer Cox stated that the state’s unemployed people would no longer receive the $300 weekly benefits, PEUC, and PUA effective June 26, 2021.
“This is the natural next step in getting the state and people’s lives back to normal,” Cox said. “I believe in the value of work. With the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.9% and plenty of good-paying jobs available today, it makes sense to transition away from these extra benefits that were never intended to be permanent. The market should not be competing with the government for workers.”
22. West Virginia
Governor Jim Justice announced that West Virginia would stop the $300 assistance on June 19 at midnight. “We got plenty of folks that are hurting and not speaking of those folks in any way, but you’ve got a lot, a lot, a lot of other folks that are scamming the whole system,” Justice said. “Our businesses are pleading with our people. We’ve got to have you back to work.”
Further, Governor Justice said “We’re looking at a $500 type signing bonus, and if it equaled a business that you would go to work for that is willing to put up the same dollars, that employee could get $1000 if that employee could stay on the job for 90 days.”
Governor Mark Gordon announced the state would stop the $300 payments on June 19. “Wyoming needs workers, our businesses are raring to go,” Gordon said in a statement. “I recognize the challenges facing Wyoming employers, and I believe it’s critical for us to do what we can to encourage more hiring. Federal unemployment programs have provided short-term relief for displaced and vulnerable workers at a tough time but are now hindering the pace of our recovery. People want to work, and work is available. Incentivizing people not to work is just plain un-American.”
How To Prepare For Expiring Federal Pandemic Unemployment Benefits?
Here’s how you can prepare yourself for the expiration of $300 weekly unemployment benefits:
- Cut down unnecessary expenses
- Upgrade your skills and prepare yourself to return to work
- Get back to full-time work and qualify for a return-to-work bonus
- Look for part-time jobs if you fail to secure a full-time job
- Look for alternative assistance like child care assistance, food stamps, etc.
With businesses blaming additional unemployment benefits for the shortage of staff, many more states are planning to withdraw from the supplement unemployment program and other federal programs established due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Some states are also reinstating work search requirements to qualify for the weekly regular unemployment benefits. Let’s wait and see what more steps the states take to encourage people to return to their jobs and improve the U.S. economy.
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