ATLANTA – Governor Brian Kemp and Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler outlined a plan to combat the labor shortage and jumpstart Georgia’s economic recovery.
Federal pandemic unemployment programs will end on Saturday, June 26, 2021. State officials will provide resources for job search support, education and training opportunities, childcare and transportation services, and safe workplace initiatives for workers, families, and employers leading up to then.
“GDOL has dispersed almost $22 billion in the past fourteen months to support families in this crisis, paying mortgages, electric bills, and grocery tabs when Georgians were in greatest need. It is critical for us to support our economy and local businesses by providing solutions to the roadblocks many Georgians have faced when returning to work,” said Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.
Georgians on Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) will no longer receive the weekly $300 payments.
Other programs ending are:
Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) for those in the gig economy, part-time, or self-employed.
Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) offers an extension of benefits once regular benefits are exhausted.
Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) provides an additional $100 benefit to certain people with mixed earnings.
The payments will be processed through June 26, 2021 Regular state unemployment will continue for eligible Georgians. The maximum weekly benefit is $365.
According to Butler, the Employ Georgia jobs platform has a record number of employment opportunities.
“During truly unprecedented times, hardworking Georgians have stayed resilient and businesses of all sizes have quickly adapted to an unpredictable environment,” said Governor Kemp. “Even in the middle of a global pandemic, job growth and economic development in Georgia remained strong – including an unemployment rate below the national average.”
Earlier in the week, Majority Whip and State Senator Steve Gooch (R-51) sent a letter to the Governor asking Kemp to end the federal unemployment programs. Several other states have taken similar measures as small businesses and restaurants continue to experience a labor shortage.
ATLANTA – Majority Whip and State Senator Steve Gooch (R-51) has asked Governor Brian Kemp (R) to halt the federal unemployment relief in Georgia.
In a letter sent to Kemp’s desk today, Gooch details how many small businesses are struggling to find people to work. Many restaurants can’t fully open because they don’t have the staff.
“While we are still recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic, local business owners are desperate for employees – not customers. Every job creator agrees that this workforce shortage is a direct result of the federal expanded unemployment benefits, where employees are incentivized to stay home and collect government checks that often exceed what they would earn at the job site. This labor shortage has caused many restaurants to alter their hours of operation and is having an oversized impact on the supply chain of every sector of the economy. In fact, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers cannot deliver their goods and services to their customers. Costs are skyrocketing due to limited inventories and Georgia businesses – and consumers – are struggling to foot the bill.” – Senator Steve Gooch
Gooch touches on teacher’s unions preventing parents from returning to work because some schools haven’t returned to in-person learning.
The Senator cites that a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available and free to whoever wishes to take it.
He urges Kemp to take executive action and stop the unemployment benefits or include the issue in a Special Session late this summer.
The American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden (D) on March 11, 2021, extended Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs through September 6, 2021.
FPUC sends out a $300 weekly supplement until September 6, 2021 “as appropriate” and is subject to deductions, child support, and overpayment recoveries.
Last week, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis (R) moved to reinstate the weekly “work search” updates required to receive unemployment benefits. Florida suspended the measure when the pandemic began.
Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler (R) released an earlier statement that the Georgia requirements for unemployment are likely to return within the next few months.
“We are hearing from employers that are struggling to meet demand right now due to the lack of applicants for open positions,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Our mission is to not only bridge the pay gap for those who are temporarily unemployed, but to also provide reemployment support for those who are looking to reenter the workforce filling the critical vacancies we are seeing in almost every industry right now.”