Texas and Indiana become latest states to end pandemic-related unemployment benefits

U.S.

SAN RAFAEL, CALIFORNIA – APRIL 02: A pedestrian walks by a now hiring sign at Ross Dress For Less store on April 02, 2021 in San Rafael, California. According to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March and the unemployment rate dropped to 6 percent. Leisure and hospitality jobs led the way with 280,000 new jobs followed by restaurants with 176,000 jobs and construction with 110,000 new positions. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

(NewsNation Now) — The governors of Texas and Indiana announced Monday they will withdraw from federal pandemic-related unemployment compensation.

Texas will end the additional unemployment insurance June 26, 2021, while Indiana’s phase out will start June 19.

Both governors cited the difficulty some employers are facing in hiring workers as the reason behind opting out of the programs.

“There are help wanted signs posted all over Indiana, and while our economy took a hit last year, it is roaring like an Indy 500 race car engine now. I am hearing from multiple sector employers that they want and need to hire more Hoosiers to grow,” said Gov. Eric Holcomb.

“According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment benefits. That assessment does not include the voluminous jobs that typically are not listed, like construction and restaurant jobs. In fact, there are nearly 60 percent more jobs open (and listed) in Texas today than there was in February 2020, the month before the Pandemic hit Texas,” said Governor Greg Abbott in a statement.

Holcomb had previously signed an executive order reinstating a requirement that those on unemployment prove they are searching for work.

The following programs will end in Indiana and Texas once those states officially withdraw:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides a $300 weekly add-on to recipients of unemployment insurance
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides recipients extended benefits after their traditional 26 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits have been exhausted
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits to individuals who do not normally qualify for unemployment benefits, such as self-employed, gig workers, and independent contractors
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides a $100 additional weekly benefit for individuals who are eligible for regular unemployment benefits but also earned at least $5,000 in self-employment income

Indiana and Texas are the two latest states to announce changes to their unemployment programs. Twenty-two states have so far changed their requirements or no longer opt-in to federal pandemic-related assistance programs.

The latest figures released by the U.S. Labor Department show the number of Americans filing for unemployment dropped to a pandemic low of 473,000. It also marked the fifth straight week claims were below 700,000 as more consumers begin returning to pre-pandemic activities.

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