21 states now cancel federal unemployment benefits
Denitsa Tsekova of Yahoo Finance joins Kristin Myers and Alexis Christoforous in determining which states are waiving federal unemployment benefits.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: About 3.5 million people are expected to lose some federal aid starting next month. That’s because at least 21 Republican-led states are ending this additional federal unemployment program in an attempt to get people back to work. Denitsa Tsekova from Yahoo Finance is here now with these details. Denitsa.
DENITSA TSEKOVA: Yeah, we have three other states joining us yesterday. It’s Indiana, Oklahoma, and Texas. Texas, of course, a very large one. 1.3 million unemployed people will very soon lose some of their benefits. They are joining the wave of states withdrawing from federal employment programs. As you said, a total of 21 states are currently joining the program. This movement comes mainly from Republican governors. And that’s after the disappointing April jobs report. We even had House Republicans, including Republican House Leader Kevin McCarthy, calling on all GOP governors to cancel these programs.
And what we’re seeing in those 21 states is that from mid-June or the end of June, workers will lose those 300 extra weekly unemployment benefits. In addition, contractors, construction workers and others will lose access to unemployment assistance in the event of a pandemic, meaning they will not receive any benefits. Workers in these 21 states are at risk of losing, collectively, $ 21.3 billion in unemployment benefits. And that’s about 3,000 or 4,000 for workers, depending on the state they’re from. And as part of the American Rescue Plan, these programs will expire on September 6. Thus, workers have 10 to 12 weeks less unemployment.
Arizona, Montana and Oklahoma are the only three states to offer a back-to-work bonus. So only three out of 21 give the so-called incentive to return workers to their jobs. Incentives vary from state to state, but what we see is around 1,200 or 2,000 benefits paid to workers who remain in their jobs for a certain period of time, say four weeks or six weeks, depending on the state. So we do not yet know whether more states will implement such incentives, which typically are less than the benefits these workers would have received if they remained unemployed.
ALEXIS CHRISTOFOROUS: Alright, thank you very much for this update, for keeping up to date with this for us Denitsa Tsekova.