Some States End Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

Some States End Pandemic Unemployment Benefits

Sixteen States to Opt Out

Nearly 2 million people could lose or receive fewer pandemic unemployment benefits as states across the country pull out of the federal program. At last count, 16 states have chosen to opt-out, including Alabama, Georgia, Iowa, Ohio, Tennessee, and Utah. The unemployment programs expire on September 6 but some states are ending them several months earlier.

The extra unemployment benefits were enacted as part of the CARES Act which passed in March of 2020. With the economy reopening, businesses are having a hard time filling open positions. The states believe rescinding the extra unemployment aid will encourage people to apply.

Extra Payments Could End Soon

States are expected to end their participation in the program as soon as June 12. At that point, unemployed workers will no longer receive the $300 extra in weekly payments. Individuals will still receive state benefits, which is typically half the wages they earned prior to collecting unemployment.

Individuals who are unemployed for a significant period of time, gig workers, freelancers, and the self-employed may lose their benefits entirely. These workers have been collecting unemployment benefits under the federal government’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program. Many states are opting out of both programs, though this is not the case for all states. For example, Arizona is opting out of the $300 extra payment only.

Unemployment Benefits Blamed for Labor Shortages

Governors of the states opting out of the benefits say the programs are causing labor shortages. They argue that people are incentivized to stay home and not look for work. Subsequently, businesses are having difficulties hiring people and reopening.

While pandemic unemployment benefits may be keeping some workers at home, economists say the coronavirus is a bigger reason for labor shortages. Less than half of American adults are fully vaccinated and daily infections are still in the tens of thousands. That is causing people to worry about transmitting or catching the virus at work.

It has been a complex year and a half for the labor market. The next several months could also prove challenging for both workers and employers as the country works to regain a sense of normalcy.

Things are changing daily within the financial world. Sign up for the SoFi Daily Newsletter to get the latest news updates in your inbox every weekday.

Sign up

Please understand that this information provided is general in nature and shouldn’t be construed as a recommendation or solicitation of any products offered by SoFi’s affiliates and subsidiaries. In addition, this information is by no means meant to provide investment or financial advice, nor is it intended to serve as the basis for any investment decision or recommendation to buy or sell any asset. Keep in mind that investing involves risk, and past performance of an asset never guarantees future results or returns. It’s important for investors to consider their specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile before making an investment decision.
The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. These links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement. No brands or products mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this content.
Communication of SoFi Wealth LLC an SEC Registered Investment Adviser
SoFi isn’t recommending and is not affiliated with the brands or companies displayed. Brands displayed neither endorse or sponsor this article. Third party trademarks and service marks referenced are property of their respective owners.

All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

ABOUT Meg Richardson Meg Richardson is a writer specializing in markets, technology, and personal finance. She loves breaking down seemingly complex ideas and making them readable and interesting for everyone. She holds an MFA in writing from Columbia University. When she is not writing about finance, she enjoys running in Central Park and drawing cartoons.

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender