Many governors have cited the federal unemployment benefit of $ 300 as the reason businesses in their state are unable to hire workers, and new data shows that a handful of states that have terminated to their participation in the program have unemployment rates above the national average.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that only six of the 26 states that announced they would end their participation in the federal unemployment program have unemployment rates above the national average of 5.9% (as of June).
Those states included Mississippi, which had an unemployment rate of 6.2% and announced on June 12 that it would end the increased federal benefit; Arizona, where the unemployment rate was 6.8%; Alaska, with an unemployment rate of 6.6%; Texas at 6.5%; Maryland at 6.2% and Louisiana with an unemployment rate of 6.9%.
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The remaining 20 states that decided to end extra unemployment benefits had unemployment rates at or below the national average, including Georgia, West Virginia, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Florida and Nebraska.
The unemployment rate does not include people who have not looked for work in the past four weeks, but rising vaccination rates and falling unemployment measures have encouraged Republican governors to end benefits .
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The US bailout, which passed in March, extended the additional federal benefit by $ 300 on top of what was already provided by states.
Many Republican governors have alleged that the extra money is preventing the unemployed from re-entering the workforce.
As previously reported by FOX Business, Ohio Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said the federal benefit was “an incentive for people not to work,” slowing employees’ return to work and the creation of jobs.
On the flip side, proponents say some workers are unable to return to work just yet due to fear of getting sick or difficulty accessing child care.
The federal benefit is due to expire in September.
Edward Lawrence of FOX Business contributed to this report.