Kemp’s economic plan cuts off federal unemployment payments

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp(Source: WTOC)
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 9:39 AM CDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (WALB) - Early Thursday afternoon, Governor Brian Kemp issued a release addressing plans he has made in conjunction with Labor Commissioner Mark Butler to promote the state’s economic recovery.

Kemp said that state labor officials plan to pull out of federal pandemic unemployment programs, effective Saturday, June 26.

“During truly unprecedented times, hardworking Georgians have stayed resilient and businesses of all sizes have quickly adapted to an unpredictable environment,” said 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.”

“To build on our momentum, accelerate a full economic recovery, and get more Georgians back to work in good-paying jobs, our state will end its participation in the federal COVID-19 unemployment programs, effective June 26. As we emerge from this pandemic, Georgians deserve to get back to normal, and today’s announced economic recovery plan will help more employees and businesses across our state do so.”

Effective June 26, Georgia will no longer participate in the following federal programs:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), which provides for an additional $300 weekly payment to recipients of unemployment compensation
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), which provides benefits for those who would not usually qualify, such as the self-employed, gig workers, and part-time workers
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), which provides for an extension of benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC), which provides an additional $100 benefit to certain people with mixed earnings
Georgia's Labor Commissioner Mark Butler in a 2018 interview at WALB
Georgia's Labor Commissioner Mark Butler in a 2018 interview at WALB(Source: WALB)

All payments under any of these federal programs will be processed and issued to eligible claimants through June 26, according to the governor’s office.

Once Georgia opts out of the federal programs, the Department of Labor (GDOL) will continue offering regular state unemployment insurance benefits to eligible Georgians, which tops out at $365 per week, Kemp’s office said.

“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. “Right now, the state has a historic number of jobs listed on Employ Georgia. We are seeing some of the highest pay scales with enhanced benefits and signing bonuses.”

Kemp’s office said GDOL provides extensive online support to job seekers looking to rejoin the workforce. Claimants receive access to Employ Georgia’s over 251,000 job listings, resume assistance, career counseling, skills testing, job fair information, job training services, and accessibility and special accommodations for people with disabilities and veterans transitioning back into the workplace.

Kemp said 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.

Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.

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