13 states that have cut unemployment benefits are near or above February 2020 employment

Still ending benefits early could be a mistake

Many states that are have almost recovered to pre-pandemic employment levels are led by GOP-governors that have recently cut federal unemployment benefits.

New monthly data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that several states that have cut the extra $300 weekly federal unemployment benefits are closer to pre-pandemic employment relative to others. When ranking the states which are closest to their February 2020 employment levels as of June 2021, 13 of the top 15 are states that have cut unemployment benefits earlier than the September expiration.

Heidi Shierholz, a senior economist and the director of policy at the Economic Policy Institute, told that ending benefits early is a “massive mistake” and doesn’t make any “economic sense.”



Is Unemployment Insurance Behind the Fast-Food Labor Shortage?

 Low pay and abysmal working conditions at stake

Around the U.S., employers in the service industry are sounding the alarm that a widespread labor shortage is preventing them from hiring enough staff.

Some bosses have blamed unemployment benefits for labor shortages, with signs posted outside restaurants like McDonald’sSonic, and Outback Steakhouse that have gone viral, claiming “no one wants to work anymore.” A number of fast-food chains such as Subway and Dunkin’ Donuts have reportedly reduced operating hours while workers in understaffed conditions are dealing with increased workloads.

Other employers have been quoted in various stories criticizing unemployment benefits and blaming federal extended benefits of $300 per week for industry struggles in hiring. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has called for phasing out expanded unemployment benefits, citing the labor shortage complaints from some businesses.