At least 12 Republican-led states have announced they are terminating their involvement in federal pandemic-related unemployment programs early.
Driving the news: Many of the states' governors cited worker shortages. But some experts say it's the job climate, including pandemic-era factors, and not unemployment benefits that is determining when and how people return to work.
- The federal assistance programs, which include extra $300-a-week payments, are set to expire on Sept. 6.
- The pandemic-era programs also offer unemployment to those typically ineligible, including gig workers.
The states that have announced an end to the federal COVID-related benefits include:
- Alabama, effective June 19
- Arkansas, effective June 26
- Idaho, effective June 19
- Iowa, effective June 12
- Mississippi, effective June 12
- Missouri, effective June 12
- Montana, effective June 27
- The state will instead offer one-time $1,200 return-to-work bonuses to workers who accept jobs and complete a month of paid work.
- North Dakota, effective June 19
- South Carolina, effective June 30
- South Dakota, effective June 26
- Tennessee, effective July 3
- Utah, effective June 26
- Wyoming, effective June 19
Our thought bubble, via Axios' Courtenay Brown: The floodgates are open. While policymakers and economists spar over whether generous jobless benefits are keeping would-be workers at home, more and more states are moving ahead to cut them off.
Go deeper: States enter the unemployment fray