Four States To Slash COVID-19 Unemployment Aid Saturday

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Four states will be cutting pandemic unemployment increases three months early, ending the supplemental $300 in federal aid.

Alaska, Iowa, Missouri, and Mississippi will end pandemic-related unemployment relief on June 12. An additional 21 Republican-led states will slash federal aid before it expires on Sept. 6, according to Business Insider.

Conservatives continue to advocate an end to the increased benefits, saying they are no longer needed now that the pandemic is contained and speculating that the high payouts are discouraging would-be workers from returning.

“While these federal programs provided important temporary relief, vaccines and jobs are now in good supply. And we have a critical problem where businesses across our state are trying to hire more people, but many are facing severe worker shortages,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement, becoming the latest governor to make such a decision.

The unemployment rate has fallen with the staggered end of pandemic restrictions, but job reports for April and May have both been below expectations, according to CNBC. Job openings in April reached a record high, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

President Joe Biden last extended the additional benefits in March, but has since signaled they will not be extended again once they expire in September, according to Business Insider.

“A temporary boost in unemployment benefits that we enacted helped people who lost their jobs through no fault of their own, and who still may be in the process of getting vaccinated,” Biden said in Delaware. “But it’s going to expire in 90 days — it makes sense it expires in 90 days.”

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