Missouri unemployment: State will end federal pandemic benefits in June

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Thousands of Missourians will lose hundreds of dollars in unemployment benefits beginning June 12.

Governor Mike Parson made the announcement Tuesday afternoon.

Parson said he needed to take the step to make sure companies could find workers to fill current job openings.

“While these benefits provided supplementary financial assistance during the height of COVID-19, they were intended to be temporary, and their continuation has instead worsened the workforce issues we are facing,” Parson said. “It’s time that we end these programs that have ultimately incentivized people to stay out of the workforce.”

The governor said there are more than 220,000 job openings across the state.

“We know that the jobs are out there. And one of the last remaining hurdles to full economic recovery is addressing this labor shortage. Today’s actions ensure that we can fill existing jobs, as well as 1000s of new jobs coming to our state as companies continue to invest and expand in Missouri,” Parson said.

Parson also said he was not considering a one-time bonus for unemployed workers who go back to work.

When asked why benefits would end June 12, 2021, Parson said that’s when the emergency order expires, and the rest is simple.

“I simply want to get it out there as soon as we can get people back to work. The principle behind it is to try to get people back in the workforce. We know the jobs are available right now. And we believe it’s safe to get back out in the workforce,” Parson said.

Earlier in the day the governor posted on Facebook that Missouri is in the top tier in the nation for economic recovery.

He said Missouri’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent while employment increased by more than 15,000 jobs in March.

Gov. Parson also pointed out on his Facebook page that Missouri is now the top-ranked state for hourly earnings growth.

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