/Extra Unemployment Benefits Are Ending
Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America via Wikimedia Commons

Extra Unemployment Benefits Are Ending

Millions of Americans are poised to lose their unemployment benefits in one month’s time, as the massive safety net that Congress put in place in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic begins to unravel.

A new report published by the left-leaning Century Foundation found that 7.5 million workers face the loss of jobless aid on Sept. 6 – Labor Day, the official cut-off date for three relief programs that were first created in March 2020 and renewed twice by Congress as the virus forced an unprecedented shutdown of the nation’s economy, pushing unemployment to the highest level since the Great Depression.

In addition to providing workers with an extra $300 a week on top of their regular state benefits, the programs offered aid to workers who were not typically eligible and extended state unemployment benefits once they had been exhausted.

But as the economy reopens, companies have complained about a lack of available workers: There are still some 5.5 million unemployed Americans, despite the staggering 9.2 million open jobs. Already, 23 states – all but one of which is led by a Republican governor – have ended the unemployment programs, a move intended to help businesses that are struggling to hire workers. (Arkansas, Indiana and Maryland were ordered by state judges to reinstate the relief programs.)

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