These 25 states — including Missouri — are ending $300 federal unemployment benefits

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Effective Saturday, thousands of Missourians lost their pandemic-related federal unemployment benefits.

Gov. Mike Parson pulled Missouri out of the federal benefits program after June 12. He’s one of 25 Republican governors to make the move.

Across the state line in Kansas, however, unemployed residents will keep the $300 bonus for now despite pressure for Gov. Laura Kelly to end it.

Since the American Rescue Plan passed in March, the government has authorized an extra $300 each week in unemployment money — on top of regular state unemployment benefits. The additional assistance is set to continue until Sept. 6, but states are able to opt out early.

With businesses across the country struggling to hire workers and lackluster job reports from the U.S. Labor Department, Republicans have been quick to point to the $300 bonus as the reason why people aren’t going back to work.

Others have rejected that notion though, citing a lack of child care, career changes and fears of contracting COVID-19 as other reasons for the hiring shortage. 

The United States unemployment rate is 5.8% as of May 2021, compared to a pandemic-high of 14.8% in April 2020. In February 2020, before the pandemic began, the national unemployment rate was 3.5%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

When the $300 bonus will end in 25 states:

Alabama — June 19

Alabama’s Gov. Kay Ivey announced in May the state will no longer participate in all pandemic-related federal unemployment programs after June 19, WHNT reports.

Along with the $300 bonus, this includes pandemic unemployment assistance, which applies to gig workers and others not typically covered, and pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, which extends state unemployment once they’ve been exhausted.

“Among other factors, increased unemployment assistance, which was meant to be a short-term relief program during emergency related shutdowns, is now contributing to a labor shortage that is compromising the continuation of our economic recovery,” Ivey said.

Alabama had a 3.6% unemployment rate in April 2021, compared to 13.20 in April 2020 before the pandemic.

Alaska — June 12

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy cut the $300 weekly unemployment bonus starting June 12 in an attempt to address the growing labor shortage in the state, the Anchorage Daily News reports.

Self-employed Alaskans will still receive benefits, however, because the state is not pulling out of the pandemic unemployment assistance program.

Alaska’s unemployment rate in April 2021 was 6.70%, compared to 11.80% in April 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

Arizona — July 10

Gov. Doug Ducey said Arizona will end the $300 federal unemployment bonus, effective July 10.

Instead, the state will set aside $300 million in federal money to offer a one-time $2,000 bonus to people who get a full-time job or a $1,000 bonus to those who get part-time work, the Arizona Republic reports.

Arizona will also provide three months of child care assistance for most people on unemployment with children if they return to the workforce.

The state’s unemployment rate was 6.7% in April 2021, compared to 14.20% in April 2020.

Arkansas — June 26

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said his state will pull out of all pandemic-related federal unemployment programs on June 26.

“The $300 federal supplement helped thousands of Arkansans make it through this tough time, so it served a good purpose,” Hutchinson said. “Now we need Arkansans back on the job so that we can get our economy back to full speed.”

Along with the $300 bonus, Arkansas will end pandemic unemployment assistance, which applies to gig workers and others not typically covered, and pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, which extends state unemployment once they’ve been exhausted, among others.

Arkansas had an unemployment rate of 4.4% in April 2021, compared to 10% in April 2020.

Florida — June 26

Florida’s unemployment agency said last month it will stop participating in the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program that offers $300 weekly. The change takes place starting the week of June 27.

Like others, Florida officials argue the change will get people back to work.

“The jobs are there,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said last month. “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.”

Florida’s unemployment rate was 4.80% in April 2021, compared to 14% in April 2020.

Georgia — June 26

Effective June 26, Georgia will no longer participate in any of the pandemic-related federal unemployment programs, cutting jobless residents off from the $300 weekly bonus.

Gov. Brian Kemp previously said employers are demanding that the state do more to force people into the workforce, WSAV reported.

Georgia’s unemployment rate was 4.30% in April 2021 versus 12.50% in April 2020.

Idaho — June 19

Unemployed Idaho residents will no longer be able to receive any federal unemployment benefits starting June 19, the state said last month.

The state is pulling out of pandemic-related federal unemployment programs, including the $300 weekly assistance and PUA benefits for self-employed workers who are not normally covered.

“It’s time to get back to work,” Gov. Brad Little said in a statement explaining his decision. “My decision is based on a fundamental conservative principle—we do not want people on unemployment. We want people working.”

Idaho’s unemployment rate was 3.10% in April 2021, compared to 11.6% in April 2020.

Indiana — June 19

Indiana will end its participation in all federal pandemic unemployment programs effective June 19, WTTV reports.

“There are 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,” Gov. Eric Holcomb said. “I am hearing from multiple sector employers that they want and need to hire more Hoosiers to grow.”

The governor also recently reinstated work search requirements for those requesting unemployment benefits.

The unemployment rate in Indiana was 3.9% in April 2021, compared to a high of 16.9% in April 2020.

Iowa — June 12

Gov. Kim Reynolds said Iowa will no longer participate in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs beginning June 12. That includes the $300 weekly federal assistance and benefits for self-employed workers, among others.

“Regular unemployment benefits will remain available, as they did before the pandemic, but it’s time for everyone who can to get back to work,” Reynolds said. “This country needs to look to the future, and Iowa intends to lead the way.” 

Reynolds said the federal benefits are acting as a deterrent for people to return to the workforce, but she did note there are more jobs available than unemployed people, according to WHO.

Iowa’s unemployment rate was 3.8% in April 2021, compared to 11.1% in April 2020.

Maryland — July 3

Gov. Larry Hogan said Maryland will end the boosted unemployment benefits on July 3. 

“As our state continues to make great progress in its economic recovery, employers are successfully reopening for business and creating job opportunities,” state Labor Secretary Tiffany Robinson said.

Maryland’s unemployment rate in April 2021 was 6.2% versus 9% in April 2020.

Mississippi — June 12

Gov. Tate Reeves said Mississippi will stop participating in all federal unemployment programs on June 12. The governor said the programs were put in place for the pandemic, which they believe, “for all intensive purposes, is behind us,” according to WJTV.

“The fact is, we find ourselves now in a position where there’s literally help wanted signs all over the state,” Reeves said.

Mississippi had an unemployment rate of 6.2% in April 2021, compared to 15.7% one year before.

Missouri — June 12

Parson announced last month that Missouri will pull out of all pandemic federal benefits programs after June 12.

Along with the $300 bonus, this includes pandemic unemployment assistance, which applies to gig workers and others not typically covered, and pandemic emergency unemployment compensation, which extends state unemployment once they’ve been exhausted.

The governor said he needed to take the step to make sure companies could find workers to fill thousands of 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 previously said. “It’s time that we end these programs that have ultimately incentivized people to stay out of the workforce.”

Missouri had a 4.10% unemployment rate in April 2021, compared to 3.70% in March 2020 before the pandemic.

Montana — June 12

Montana will end federal jobless benefits on June 27, Gov. Greg Gianforte said.

Instead, the state will instead provide a $1,200 return-to-work bonus that people will be eligible to receive after a month on the job, Fox Business reports.

“Incentives matter, and the vast expansion of federal unemployment benefits is now doing more harm than good,” Gianforte said in a statement. “We need to incentivize Montanans to reenter the workforce.”

Montana’s unemployment rate was 3.7% in April 2021; it was 11.9% in April 2020.

Nebraska — June 19

Gov. Pete Ricketts is ending the $300 weekly benefit and two other federal unemployment programs, including the program offering benefits for self-employed workers, the Omaha World-Herald reports.

Ricketts said he made the choice because Nebraska’s “returning to normal” after more than a year of pandemic disruptions.

Nebraska had a 2.8% unemployment rate in April 2021, one of the lowest in the country, compared to 7.4% in April 2020.

New Hampshire — June 19

Gov. Chris Sununu said the state will stop distributing all federal unemployment relief starting on June 19.

Instead, New Hampshire residents who land a full-time job will get a $1,000 bonus after eight weeks of work or $500 for part-time employees, WWLP reports. The program will remain in place until the $10 million funding it is exhausted.

“There are more jobs available than at any point in the state’s history,” Sununu said. “Everyone is looking to hire.”

New Hampshire had a 2.8% unemployment rate in April 2021, one of the lowest in the country, compared to 16% in April 2020.

North Dakota — June 19

North Dakota will stop participating in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs on June 19, Gov. Doug Burgum said last month. This includes the weekly $300 add-on, benefits for the self-employed and the federal program that extends benefits beyond the normal 20 weeks.

Burgum said he made the decision to help address the “ongoing workforce shortage” in the state, KXMB reports.

North Dakota’s unemployment rate was 4.2% in April 2021, compared to 8.7% a year before.

Ohio — June 26

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said his state will stop participating in the federal unemployment program that provides $300 weekly on June 26.

The governor said the additional payments are hindering the state’s ability to recover economically as businesses struggle to fill vacant positions, but WJW reports he didn’t provide any data to support that claim.

Ohio saw a 4.7% unemployment rate in April 2021, compared to a pandemic high of 16.4% in April 2020.

Oklahoma — June 26

Oklahoma will be ending the $300 weekly federal benefit effective June 26, Gov. Kevin Stitt said, arguing it will get people back to work.

“The federal government has created an incentive to stay at home instead of getting back into the work force,” Stitt said.

The state will use $24 million in American Rescue Plan funds to offer a $1,200 bonus to the first 20,000 Oklahomans to reenter the job market, KFOR reports.

Oklahoma’s unemployment rate was 4.3% in April 2021, compared to a pandemic high of 13% in April 2020.

South Carolina — June 30

Gov. Henry McMaster said South Carolina is ending participation in all federal, pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs, including the $300 weekly bonus, WCBD reports.

“What was intended to be short-term financial assistance for the vulnerable and displaced during the height of the pandemic has turned into a dangerous federal entitlement, incentivizing and paying workers to stay at home rather than encouraging them to return to the workplace,” McMaster said.

South Carolina had an unemployment rate of 5% in April 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to 11.5% one year before.

South Dakota — June 26

South Dakota will stop participating in three federally paid unemployment programs effective June 26, KELO reports. That includes the $300 weekly bonus and benefits for self-employed workers who are normally not covered.

South Dakota had a 2.8% unemployment rate in April 2021, one of the lowest in the country, compared to 9.2% in April 2020.

Tennessee — July 3

The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development said that beginning July 4, the state would transition to state-only unemployment benefits, as reported by WKRN.

According to the report, some residents have yet to receive the benefits they applied and were approved for. The state said that ending the federal program will not stop that approved money from coming to those residents.

“If someone is waiting right now for a determination on their claim, and they’re continuing to certify right up to July 3, any money that they had previously certified for and are eligible for leading up to July 3, they will receive all those payments retroactively in a lump sum,” Chris Cannon, TDOL.

Tennessee has an unemployment rate of 5% in April 2021 compared to 15.8% one year before.

Texas — June 26

Gov. Greg Abbott said Texas will end its participation in pandemic-related federal unemployment compensation starting June 26. This includes ending a $300 weekly unemployment supplement from the federal program.

“The focus must be on helping unemployed Texans connect with the more than a million job openings, rather than paying unemployment benefits to remain off the employment rolls,”Abbott’s office said in a release.

In April 2021, Texas had an unemployment rate of 6.7%. One year before, the state had a 12.9% unemployment rate.

Utah — June 26

Utah will end all federal unemployment benefits, effective June 26, KTVX reports.

“This is the natural next step in getting the state and people’s lives back to normal … it makes sense to transition away from these extra benefits that were never intended to be permanent,” Gov. Spencer Cox said.

Utah had a 2.8% unemployment rate in April 2021, one of the lowest in the country, compared to 10.1% in April 2020.

West Virginia — June 19

Gov. Jim Justice announced that all federal pandemic unemployment benefits will end in West Virginia on June 19. He said West Virginians will have access to thousands of jobs and everyone needs to be back to work, WBOY reports.

West Virginia had an unemployment rate of 5.8% in April 2021 versus 15.6% in April 2020.

Wyoming — June 19

Gov. Mark Gordon said Wyoming will be ending federal unemployment benefit programs on June 19.

“Wyoming needs workers, our businesses are raring to go,” Gordon said. “People want to work, and work is available. Incentivizing people not to work is just plain un-American.”

Wyoming saw a 5.4% unemployment rate in April 2021 compared to a pandemic-high of 8.5% in May 2020.

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