Which states are ending weekly additional unemployment benefits on 12 June?
The CARES Act provided a boost to jobless support but GOP-led states have decided to withdraw from the programmes prematurely to encourage residents back to work.
A group of 25 states have confirmed their intention to end their participation in federally-funded unemployment programmes which provide an extra boost for out-of-work residents.
The additional unemployment assistance was designed to provide extra support during the pandemic but the Republican-led states have decided to end the programme nearly three months before it was scheduled to finish in September.
The first four states to withdraw from the programme will be Alaska, Iowa, Mississippi and Missouri, who are set to do so on 12 June.
Which other states are pulling out of the federal unemployment assistance programmes?
Since the start of the pandemic the federal government has put extra provisions in place to help Americans deal with the economic consequences of covid-19. One of the most well-known is the weekly supplement which boosts each state’s unemployment payments by $300.
But there is also the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which supports self-employed and gig workers; and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, for those who have exhausted their state’s unemployment support.
These programme were first introduced by the CARES Act, signed into law by former President Donald Trump in March 2020. The majority of the 25 states are ending all of those jobless programmes; but Alaska, Arizona, Florida and Ohio are only ending the $300 supplementary payment.
The full list of those who will withdraw from the federal unemployment programmes is as follows: 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.
Why are states choosing to end the federal unemployment support?
The most recent state to announce they would be withdrawing from the unemployment programmes was Maryland. Governor Larry Hogan said that the additional support was no longer needed now that "vaccines and jobs ... are in good supply,” but admitted they had provided "important temporary relief.”
States who have decided to end the support claim that the more generous federal unemployment programmes had provided an incentive for people to remain unemployed, stalling the job market recovery.
However a statement released by Brian Deese, Director of the National Economic Council, earlier today suggested that the number of people using the programmes is dropping anyway.
His press release reads: “Since January, the four-week moving average for state unemployment insurance claims have fallen by more than 50% — from more than 834,000 to 402,500. That’s the lowest level since the pandemic began.”