On Thursday, May 13 Governor Brian P. Kemp and Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler announced Georgia’s plan to end federal unemployment supplements under the guise of a reemployment and economic recovery plan. State labor officials plan to end Georgia’s participation in federal pandemic unemployment programs, effective Saturday, June 26, 2021, and eliminating the additional $300 per week added to individual state unemployment payments provided by President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan will be cut off.
And as has become his go-to strategy of finger-pointing and deflecting by blaming someone else, Kemp blamed President Biden (although we’re sure he’ll find a way to blame Stacey Abrams too).
“We’re taking away this federal subsidy that is encouraging people not to get into the workforce,” Kemp said, in an interview with Fox News.
In accordance with Commissioner Butler’s recommendations, effective Saturday, June 26, Georgia will no longer participate in the following federal programs:
• Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides for an additional $300 weekly payment to recipients of unemployment compensation
• Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits for those who would not usually qualify, such as the self-employed, gig workers, and part-time workers
• Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides for an extension of benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted
• Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides an additional $100 benefit to certain people with mixed earnings
All payments under any of these federal programs will be processed and issued to eligible claimants through June 26, 2021. Once Georgia opts out of the federal programs, the Department of Labor (GDOL) will continue offering regular state unemployment insurance benefits to eligible Georgians. The maximum weekly benefit in the state is $365.
“GDOL has dispersed almost $22 billion in the past fourteen months to support families in this crisis, paying mortgages, electric bills, and grocery tabs when Georgians were in greatest need. It is critical for us to support our economy and local businesses by providing solutions to the roadblocks many Georgians have faced when returning to work,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Right now, the state has a historic number of jobs listed on Employ Georgia. We are seeing some of the highest pay scales with enhanced benefits and signing bonuses.”
GDOL provides extensive online support to job seekers looking to rejoin the workforce. Claimants receive access to Employ Georgia’s over 251,000 job listings, resume assistance, career counseling, skills testing, job fair information, job training services, and accessibility and special accommodations for people with disabilities and veterans transitioning back into the workplace.
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