Thirteen states have so far rejected the federal government’s offer for an additional $300 per week in unemployment benefits, saying the extra cash is keeping people from going back to work and filling open – and much-needed – jobs.
Georgia is the latest state to join that growing list this week, with Republican Gov. Brian Kemp making the announcement Thursday after claiming the benefits are “hurting our productivity.”
“We’re not going to be participating in the federal subsidy any longer. That’s going to be a date in mid-to-late June. We’re working with the labor commissioner, and we’ll have more information on that soon,” Kemp told Fox News Thursday. “Every small business owner, and the workers that are currently working, they need more people. It’s hurting our productivity.
According to Forbes, the average amount of state-provided unemployment per person amounts to about $387 per week, and lasts about 24 weeks. With the additional $300, that means the average non-working person collecting unemployment is pulling in more than $2,600 per month in benefits. The government-subsidized ability for a person to continue not working even as the economy has largely opened back up for business has faced criticism after the latest April jobs report fell woefully short of the 1 million projected jobs, instead totaling only about 266,000.
The embattled White House, on the other hand, has insisted there’s “very little evidence” that the extra unemployment, which was included in President Joe Biden's $1.6 trillion-dollar COVID relief plan, is incentivizing people to sit on their butts instead of going back to work (apparently common sense doesn’t count as “evidence” in this administration).
South Carolina, Alabama, Iowa, Idaho, Missouri, Wyoming, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Utah, and North Dakota have all said they won’t accept the extra funding to try and encourage people to get back to work.