(NewsNation Now) — Several states have begun requiring those receiving unemployment benefits to show they are actively searching for work, and a few will stop providing the additional federal supplement altogether.
The requirement had been waived during the pandemic as unemployment rates surged due to business closures and cutbacks to meet the state’s public health restrictions.
Congress passed legislation at the start of the year to extend an additional $300 in weekly benefits to eligible individuals through September. The benefits were extended as part of the $1.9 trillion government aid package backed by the Biden administration and passed by a narrowly divided Congress.
Some Republican-led states say the extra unemployment money is keeping those out of work from rejoining the labor force and making it hard for employers to fill jobs.
Federal Reserve policymakers, who typically try to stay out of partisan debates, pointed to factors other than unemployment benefits for keeping workers on the sidelines, including the threat of the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the states discontinuing additional federal unemployment and those increasing requirements:
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Alabama will end its participation in all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs effective June 19. This includes the additional $300 weekly payment to recipients of unemployment compensation; benefits to gig and part-time workers who would not usually qualify; and an emergency extension of benefits.
Alaska will stop participating in a federal program that provides an extra $300 a week in unemployment aid in June, the state labor commissioner announced, saying it’s “time to help people get back to work.”
Commissioner Tamika L. Ledbetter said state participation will end June 12.
Governor Doug Ducey announced individuals must prove they are actively looking for work in order to receive additional benefits. The requirement will begin being enforced the week of Sunday, May 23.
The governor also announced the end of federal virus relief funds of an extra $300. That goes into effect on July 10. It means unemployed Arizonans will again get $240 a week, the second-lowest weekly rate in the nation.
Ducey is continuing federally sponsored programs that extend the standard 26 weeks of pay by another 29 weeks and allow gig workers such as Uber drivers to qualify for unemployment pay, although those payments will also be reduced by $300 a week.
Ducey is also adding in a $2,000 bonus paid to workers who get and keep a full-time job for at least 10 weeks. Part-time workers will get $1,000.
Arkansas is ending its participation in the federal unemployment program that gives workers an additional $300 a week, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, citing a shortage of workers. The state’s participation in the program will end after June 26.
California will stop giving unemployment benefits to people who are not actively applying for jobs. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said the requirement would resume July 11.
Connecticut is offering a different incentive to find wrok: a $1,000 signing bonus.
Starting May 24, up to 10,000 people considered to have been unemployed for the “long-term” will be able to sign up on the state Department of Labor’s website and ultimately get paid the bonus after they’ve spent eight weeks in their new full-time job. Governor Ned Lamont said long-term unemployed could mean about eight to 12 weeks without a job.
Meanwhile, Connecticut is expected on June 1 to again require people receiving unemployment benefits to regularly report their job searches to the Department of Labor, according to the governor.
Florida is planning to end participation in the federal program that gave an extra $300 per week in benefits to the unemployed during the pandemic on June 26.
Florida will continue to participate in other federal pandemic-related unemployment programs aimed at the self-employed, people who already have exhausted their unemployment benefits and gig workers.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp announced that the state will cut off the $300-a-week federal supplement to unemployed workers beginning Jjune 27, saying employers are demanding that the state do more to force people into the workforce.
Georgia’s elected labor commissioner will have to affirm Kemp’s decision. Republican Mark Butler said last week he intends to reinstate the requirement that people must actively search for work to receive unemployment benefits “in the next few months.” Butler didn’t say exactly when the job search requirement would return.
Republican Gov. Brad Little announced he is ending the state’s participation in all federal coronavirus pandemic unemployment programs. The programs include a weekly supplement of $300, unemployment help for the self-employed, and an emergency program that extended benefits when regular benefits ended. The Republican governor said the three programs will end June 19.
Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Indiana is dropping out of the extra $300 in weekly federal payments to unemployed workers and other programs that expanded unemployment benefits. The changes would take effect June 19.
Holcomb signed an executive order May 11 that reinstates a requirement that those receiving unemployment benefits will again have to show they are actively searching for work as of June 1.
Indiana is also ending its participation in a federal program that has made gig workers and the self-employed eligible for assistance for the first time and another that provides extra weeks of aid.
Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds announced Tuesday that Iowa will join a bevy of GOP-led states ending pandemic-related federal programs that give extra cash to unemployed workers. The state will end the federal boosts, including the additional $300-a-week unemployment payment, Reynolds said in a news release. That benefit was scheduled to run through early September but instead will end June 12.
Kentucky restored unemployment work-search requirements on May 9. Kentucky residents must make at least one job contact each week to receive benefits.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has agreed to turn off federal pandemic unemployment payments at the end of July in exchange for a long-term, modest boost to Louisiana’s jobless benefits.
Republican state lawmakers and business organizations agreed to support a $28 increase in Louisiana’s maximum weekly unemployment benefits — increasing the payment to a maximum of $275 a week — starting in January.
But they added a provision into the legislation that only allowed the benefit hike to take effect if the Democratic governor ended the $300 supplemental federal pandemic unemployment benefit by July 31, weeks earlier than required. Edwards took the deal.
Traditional work search requirements for unemployment insurance will be reinstated by May 23, according to the Maine Department of Labor.
Maryland will reduce opt out of federal programs, leaving tens of thousands of out-of-work residents with reduced unemployment benefits or none at all beginning July 3.
The state’s work search requirements will be reinstated for all those seeking regular unemployment insurance benefits beginning the week of June 15. The requirement applies to those receiving Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation and those on extended benefits.
The reinstatement of the work search requirement means that beginning the week of June 13, those seeking unemployment benefits must attest each week that they are making at least three work-search activities per week and provide proof of work search activity to the Department of Unemployment Assistance if requested.
Michigan will reinstate a requirement that people receiving unemployment benefits show they are actively searching for work, effective May 30, but has no plan to end a $300 weekly federal supplement. Claimants will have to conduct at least one work-search activity for each week they certify for benefits.
Mississippi will opt out of additional federal unemployment benefits June 12, Republican Gov. Tate Reeves announced in May.
Republican Gov. Mike Parsons announced in May the Show-Me state would be cutting off all federal pandemic unemployment benefits in an attempt to push people back to work. The extra federal benefits are set to end for Missourians June 12.
Beginning June 27, unemployed workers in the state will no longer receive $300 in weekly extra benefits funded by the federal government through Sept. 6.
Nebraska will end a $300-a-week unemployment bonus that has been going to jobless workers during the pandemic on June 19. he state is also stopping pandemic assistance for people who earn money from both self-employment and wages, and a program that extended regular benefits once they were exhausted.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu announced work search requirements will now be required to receive unemployment benefits beginning May 23.
Starting May 10, New Mexico state labor officials said claimants must verify that they have made at least two work search contacts per week to continue receiving the jobless payments. They must provide information on when they contacted employers about prospective jobs, what type of work it was and other details.
North Dakota will terminate its participation in the federal government’s pandemic-related unemployment assistance programs, effective June 19.
Ohio restored its unemployment weekly work-search requirement, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The requirement will begin May 23.
The weekly $300 federal unemployment payment for Ohioans to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic will also end June 26.
Oklahoma will end a $300-a-week supplemental unemployment benefit June 26, Gov. Kevin Stitt announced.
To incentivize unemployed people to return to the work, Stitt said the state will offer a $1,200 stipend for the first 20,000 workers who get off unemployment and work at least 32 hours per week at a qualifying job. Claimants can begin applying on June 28.
The state will resume work search requirements beginning July 18, meaning people claiming jobless benefits will have to satisfy the requirements during the previous week. Acting labor and industry secretary Jennifer Berrier said a work registration requirement will resume in September. The requirement will affect all unemployment programs, including unemployment compensation and its extension, the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program and the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, the department said.
The work-search requirement means people receiving unemployment benefits must apply for two jobs and complete one work-search activity from an approved list of seven options each week, such as attending a job fair, take a pre-employment test or post a resume or search for jobs in the state’s PA CareerLink system.
The state will opt out of the coronavirus pandemic assistance programs beginning June 30. South Carolina was one of the first states to decline participation in the federal program.
Extra federal unemployment aid offered amid the COVID-19 pandemic won’t be available in Tennessee starting July 3, including the end of $300 weekly additional payments.
Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment compensation related to the COVID-19 pandemic, effective June 26, 2021. This includes the $300 weekly unemployment supplement from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program.
Utah will terminate its participation in the federal government’s pandemic-related unemployment assistance program on June 26.
Vermont will now require residents filing for unemployment to apply for three jobs each week to continue receiving benefits. Additionally, residents must “accept work that is offered” to them according to Vermont’s Department of Labor website.
The Virginia work search requirement, which requires claimants to make two job contacts a week, will resume June 1.
Republican Gov. Mark Gordon announced Wyoming will end its participation in federal supplemental unemployment benefits by June 19. The state will not longer accept new claims by June 19 in the following programs: federal pandemic unemployment compensation, pandemic emergency unemployment compensation and pandemic unemployment assistance.