GOP Governors’ Decision to End COVID Benefits hits rural America hard
About 16 million people nationwide would receive a total of $ 100 billion in benefits if all states maintained federal unemployment funds until their Labor Day expiration date on Sept. 6, according to a report. Century Foundation analysis of US Department of Labor data. Among states that planned to withdraw benefits, nearly $ 11 billion in unemployment benefits could be lost, affecting nearly 2 million workers, according to the analysis.
States have never done this reversal – by accepting federal funds and then refusing them – Stettner said.
Montana was the first state to announce that it would end the program on May 4, removing benefits on June 27. Other states have followed suit, including Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming. All are headed by Republican governors.
Economists told Stateline that the decision to opt out of pandemic unemployment affects the beneficiaries who receive the funds, which in turn reduces the flow of money to local economies.
Some Republican governors are focused on filling vacancies.
“Eliminating these pandemic programs won’t be a silver bullet for employers to find employees, but we currently have about 116,000 jobs available in the state,” Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb said in a statement.