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COVID-19 Unemployment Rolls Shrink Faster in States

As the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic fades, state jobless rolls are reducing quicker in states that have eliminated federally subsidized payments, according to a new analysis. According to the Wall Street Journal, the number of persons getting unemployment benefits has decreased by 13.8 percent since mid-May in the 21 states that have discontinued or will end the enhanced payments in June.

According to the Journal, which cited an analysis by Jefferies LLC, the four states scheduled to discontinue the benefits in July and September experienced 10 percent and 5.7 percent declines, respectively. The COVID-19 relief, which increased weekly unemployment payouts by $300 per person, will expire on September 6, but many states plan to cut the benefits sooner.

Those in favor of lowering benefits believe that the additional payments have contributed to a labor shortage. In contrast, others argue that other economic and pandemic-related difficulties are keeping people out of work. According to the newspaper, when the supplementary charges stop, workers may still be eligible for unemployment benefits under their state’s programs.

The payments were stopped in four states on June 12, seven states a week later, and ten more states were set to block this weekend. Four others intend to stop making the extra payments starting next month. According to the journal, Missouri, one of the first four states to eliminate the benefits, had a 4.9 percent unemployment rate in May, lower than the national average of 5.8 percent.

However, Missouri was not as heavily struck as other states during the COVID-19 slowdown, according to the publication, and the jobless rate was lower than the national average even during the peak of the US outbreak.

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