Lately there has been so much talk about the unemployment rate and about why there are so many jobs available and not enough people interested in filling those jobs. Just this week I wrote and an article about how even the U.S. Army is struggling to enlist soldiers and as a result they are offering up to $40,000 in signing bonuses or $65,000 in tuition reimbursement. I've written about Amazon offering twice the amount of minimum wage for starting positions that basically require little to no experience. I've also written articles about how the people receiving the additional federal unemployment benefits are basically making $20 per hour and have no reason to go back to work if they're making less at their jobs. Apparently Governor Little has heard both sides of the argument and has made a decision to cut off the free money train. In a statement the Governor said Idaho will end its participation in all federal pandemic unemployment programs effective June 19, 2021.

"Employers are telling me one of the big reasons they cannot recruit and retain some workers is because those employees are receiving more on unemployment than they would while working," Little said in a statement. "We see 'Help Wanted' signs everywhere. Idaho has the strongest economy in the nation, and we are a top 10 state for best employment, but there is more we can do. It's time to get back to work."

Say goodbye to the following programs:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – provides an additional $300 weekly payment
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – benefits those who would not usually qualify for unemployment, such as the self-employed and others
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – extends benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted

Do you agree with this move? Is this in the best interest of the people or just big business? Only time will tell but August unemployment numbers should be interesting.

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