SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah is the latest state to end the increased federal unemployment benefits from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Govenor Spencer Cox is now one of a handful of governors to end these benefits.
“This is the natural next step in getting the state and people’s lives back to normal,” Gov. Cox says. “I believe in the value of work. With the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at 2.9% and plenty of good paying jobs available today, it makes sense to transition away from these extra benefits that were never intended to be permanent. The market should not be competing with government for workers.”
According to a Wednesday statement, the federal program will end in Utah on June 26, 2021.
About 28,000 Utahns are receiving these additional $300 a week federal benefits, Gov. Cox’s office says.
- 11,000 are receiving federal extended benefits
- 2,500 individuals receive federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
- 200 receive federal Mixed-Earner Unemployment Compensation
Currently, federal pandemic unemployment assistance in Utah totals $12.4 million a week.
The Department of Workforce Services, found at jobs.utah.gov, lists 50,000 jobs available, while job listing aggregator Help Wanted shows 72,000 available jobs in Utah.
If you or someone you know is struggling due to the pandemic, other programs for rent, utility, food, and medical assistance can be found here:
The Utah Democratic Party criticized the move, saying in part, “Gov. Cox is failing Utah and our neighbors by ending pandemic unemployment benefits. COVID-19 is far from over, and treating it like it is will only exacerbate it.”
Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds recently announced her state will end the benefits, saying they are causing a labor shortage in the state and hindering its economy.
Mississippi announced on Monday the state will end the extra unemployment benefit effective June 12 and Arkansas announced on Friday its plans to end the additional payments. Montana and South Carolina both announced similar plans last week.
The federal boosts provide an additional $300-a-week unemployment payment, which is scheduled to run through early September.