Report: States ending enhanced unemployment benefits see slow increase to workforce

Posted at 10:13 AM, Jul 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 10:13:58-04

CLEVELAND — About one month ago Gov. Mike DeWine ended the extra $300 enhanced unemployment benefit payments for all Ohioans. The goal was to get people back to work and fill open positions within companies across the state.

But a new analysis from Gusto, a payroll processing company, shows people across the country aren't flocking back to the workforce as quickly as policymakers anticipated. The report, released Tuesday, compared states which ended the federal unemployment payments in June to states which have decided to keep theirs in place until September.

The data shows states that ended enhanced payments early have seen an increase in employment of adult workers 25 or older, which started the week governors announced enhanced would soon end and has been driven by high vaccination rates. In states where enhanced payments will not end until September, there has been an increase in the hiring of 15-19 year olds. This points to evidence that suggests the payments were in fact keeping older workers on the sidelines and younger workers were being hired to fill the gaps.

Ohio's unemployment numbers are beginning to spike once again.

The week the $300 payments ended, nearly 10,500 jobless claims were filed in Ohio. Fast forward to July 11, and the claims filed increased to nearly 12,600.

Gusto, which works with 100,000+ small businesses nationwide, suggests ending benefit payments isn't the answer to filling the workforce. Instead the company suggests states focus on vaccination rates and ensuring schools and child care centers can re-open in a safe and timely manner.

Click here to read more about the analysis from Gusto.

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