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Unemployment benefits: What changes are coming in June? 

Changes to unemployment benefits across the US could impact millions of beneficiaries as some states choose to end additional benefits or implement new requirements.

Changes to unemployment benefits across the US could impact millions as some states choose to end federal benefits or implement new requirements.

The US Department of Labor reported that for the week ending 15 May, initial unemployment claims dropped to their lowest level since the pandemic took hold of the US back in March 2020. However, early data may show that the national insured unemployment rate has remained steady at 2.7 percent.

States that saw the most significant increases in initial claims during the week of 8 May were “Georgia (+7,404), Washington (+6,111), Illinois (+3,221), Pennsylvania (+2,156), and Ohio (+1,371).” Georgia is the only state listed that will be ending additional unemployment benefits in June.

Which states have reestablished work search requirements to receive benefits?

While twenty-two governors have announced that their state will end the payment of additional unemployment benefits in June and July, other states have opted for less severe changes. These include implementing work search requirements to encourage those on unemployment to begin planning their reentry into the workforce.

On June 26, 2020, North Dakota became the first state to report on their job search progress to receive benefits. South Dakota followed their neighbor to the north and implemented the change on 2 August 2020.

States that have already implemented this change are not specific to the political parties in power. States that have already made the change include Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Kentucky, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Vermont. State leaders from Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Montana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Wyoming have released information that in the next few months, work search requirements will be implemented to receive benefits.

Georgia and Pennsylvania have both announced that job search information will become a requirement to receive benefits but have yet to confirm a date.

States that will implement work search requirements in June

June 1

  • Indiana

June 6

  • Virginia

June 27

  • Montana

How are the unemployment levels in states calling to end additional benefits?

The twenty-two states that have called to end the additional payments have an average unemployment rate of 4.5%, almost one points lower than the national average. Those over the 5.4% average nationally include Mississippi, Alaska, Arizona, and Texas. However, sixteen of the states have seen minor increases in their unemployment rate since February 2021.

Interestingly, many of the states that have yet to implement these requirements have already announced that they will be ending the payment of additional unemployment benefits. Some policy analysts believe that it may be safer to implement these requirements before making the choice to end the extra payments. By collecting data on how, where, and when people are applying to jobs, leaders can make informed more informed decisions as to the state of the labor market. 

States where federal unemployment support end in June

12 June

  • Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi, and Missouri

19 June

  • Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming

26 June

  • Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Utah

27 June

  • Montana

30 June

  • South Carolina


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