On Monday, Florida announced it will withdraw from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program the week of June 26. If the state remained in the program, jobless Floridians would have continued to get $300 weekly enhanced unemployment benefits through Sept. 6.
“Transitioning away from this benefit will help meet the demands of small and large businesses who are ready to hire and expand their workforce,” Dane Eagle, secretary of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, said in a statement on Monday.
With the addition of Florida on Monday, a total of 23 states have announced plans to opt out of the weekly $300 enhanced unemployment benefit. Those other states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
What do these 23 states have in common? They all have Republican governors who argue that the federal enhanced benefit—which is paid on top of state benefits—is incentivizing jobless Americans to not go back to work. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce agrees. But the Biden administration disputes that narrative, instead citing school and daycare closures and low wages for many jobs as bigger contributors to the increasingly tight labor market.
According to Fortune‘s analysis of the Century Foundation’s data, nearly 4 million jobless Americans would lose their federal $300 weekly checks once these 23 states halt the payments. That’s 25% of all jobless Americans currently receiving unemployment insurance.
Most of these states will phase out the program in June, including Ohio and Texas which will halt the payments the week of June 26. Some will go later, including Tennessee, which will end the program the week of July 3. Jobless residents in states that opt out of the $300 benefit will still receive regular, state-issued unemployment benefits.
Jobless residents in states that do not opt out of the program will continue to receive the enhanced $300 unemployment through the week of Sept. 6.
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