Gov. Cox to end pandemic unemployment payments
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah. — Governor Spencer Cox announced the discontinuation of federal unemployment programs tied to the pandemic as part of the federal stimulus package. The $300 weekly stimulus payment and the other federal unemployment programs will end on June 26th.
“This is the natural next step in getting the state and people’s lives back to normal,” said Gov. Cox. “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 the State of Utah’s press release, approximately 28,000 Utahns currently receive an additional $300-per-week federal benefit. Of those, 11,000 receive federal extended benefits, 2,500 individuals receive federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, and 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 website has 50,000 available job openings, while job listings aggregator Help Wanted shows 72,000 available jobs in Utah.
“As employers compete for workers, we are ready to help those local businesses recruit and hire employees,” said Casey Cameron, executive director of the Department of Workforce Services. “For job seekers, we can provide career coaching, education assistance, job search help, and more, either online or in-person at an employment center. For many workers, this transition can be a great time to gain additional skills and open doors to new opportunities.”
“All across Utah, in a variety of industries, we are seeing the significant need for new employees,” said Derek Miller, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance. “The challenge our economy currently faces is not the scarcity of well-paying jobs, but the lack of workers. For our state to remain a national economic leader and for our communities to be prosperous, we need to normalize the labor market by assisting those currently unemployed to find opportunities to rejoin the workforce as soon as possible.”
The Learn and Work program, the state of Utah, and the Utah System of Higher Education have dedicated $16.5 million to help more than 5,700 individuals get training and find better employment opportunities. Over the next several weeks, an additional $15 million will be awarded to training institutions throughout the state to help those who want to upgrade their skills to enhance employment opportunities. Funding is also available for career and education advancement through Workforce Services.
Other safety net programs are available for those still struggling due to the pandemic, such as rent, utility, food, and medical assistance. For more information about additional pandemic relief programs and details about the federal unemployment insurance programs ending, visit jobs.utah.gov.
Because of positive job growth, we will be discontinuing the federal unemployment programs tied to the pandemic as part…
Posted by Gov. Spencer J. Cox on Wednesday, May 12, 2021