Georgia to cut jobless benefits to push people to work

Georgia News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — Georgia will be cutting off the $300-a-week federal supplement to unemployed workers next month, Gov. Brian Kemp announced Thursday.

The governor says employers are demanding that the state do more to force people into the workforce.

“As we emerge from this pandemic, Georgians deserve to get back to normal – and today’s announced economic recovery plan will help more employees and businesses across our state do so,” Kemp said.

Labor Commissioner Mark Butler, ultimately, had to make the decision to cut off federal benefits.

Effective Saturday, June 26, Georgia will no longer participate in: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation or Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation.

Once Georgia opts out of the federal programs, the Department of Labor will continue offering regular state unemployment insurance benefits to eligible Georgians, Kemp said. The maximum weekly benefit in the state is $365.

“Right now, the state has a historic number of jobs listed on Employ Georgia,” said Butler. “We are seeing some of the highest pay scales with enhanced benefits and signing bonuses.”

Kemp and Butler are pushing those who are unemployed to visit Employ Georgia’s website. They say over 251,000 jobs are listed.

Defenders of extra benefits say the labor market is still disrupted by COVID-19, particularly because mothers may be staying home with children.

The Associated Press contributed

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