Red States Stop Taking Federal Unemployment Benefits, Citing Hiring Troubles

(USA Features) Republican governors accounting for nearly half of all states have stopped accepting an additional weekly federal unemployment benefit of $300 per person after business owners have experienced increased difficulty in hiring workers.

The additional benefit was part of the most recent multi-trillion-dollar COVID relief package passed earlier this year and signed by President Joe Biden, and comes on top of weekly benefits paid out by states.

Critics say the extra money provides too many potential workers with an incentive to remain unemployed because they are making as much or more on unemployment than if they were working a job. As such, businesses and companies attempting to reopen and ramp-up following the COVID pandemic can’t find enough workers to fill open vacancies.

“Federal pandemic-related unemployment benefit programs initially provided displaced Iowans with crucial assistance when the pandemic began,” said Iowa Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds last week, one of 22 governors who have refused the extra benefits “But now that our businesses and schools have reopened, these payments are discouraging people from returning to work.”

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming have recently said they will stop taking the federal benefits at some point over the summer, the Washington Examiner reported.

“In fact, the amount of job openings in Texas is far greater than the number of Texans looking for employment, making these unemployment benefits no longer necessary,” Texas Gov. Greg Abbott wrote Thursday.

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