First Democratic State Will End Its Unemployment Benefits

John Bel Edwards

Louisiana will be the first Democratic-controlled state to roll back its $300 a week unemployment benefits enacted by federal programs.

Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the bill Wednesday that stops the weekly payments on July 31, but raises Louisiana’s maximum jobless benefits to $275, starting in 2022, according to the legislation.

Louisiana is joined by 25 other Republican led states that have prematurely slashed the weekly pandemic benefits from the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, which were not set to expire until Sept. 6, 2021. Jobless claims were up 412,000 last week, according to the Department of Labor.

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Virginia NFIB: Business Is Improving, but Employers Are Having Trouble Filling Positions

As the country emerges from COVID-19 restrictions, small businesses are doing better, according to a March report from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). However, uncertainty about the next few months for business owners is still high, and businesses are having trouble finding qualified workers to fill positions.

“Virginia’s small businesses are working hard on their recovery but are struggling to find the right workers to fill open positions,” NFIB Virginia State Director Nicole Riley said in a Wednesday press release

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New Jobless Claims Decrease to 730,000, Economists Expected 845,000

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims decreased to 730,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented a decrease in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Feb. 13, in which there were 841,000 new jobless claims reported. That number was revised down from the 861,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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New Jobless Claims Increase to 861,000, Economists Expected 773,000

The number of Americans filing new unemployment claims increased to 861,000 last week as the economy continued to suffer the effects of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, according to the Department of Labor.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics figure released Thursday represented an increase in the number of new jobless claims compared to the week ending Feb. 6, in which there were 848,000 new jobless claims reported. That number was revised up from the 793,000 jobless claims initially reported last week.

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Virginia House Passes Bill Extending Unemployment to People Who Can’t Work Due to COVID-19

The House of Delegates passed a bill meant to protect employees from losing unemployment benefits for some employees who can’t work due to COVID-19.  It includes a key provision that provides unemployment benefits for people who don’t go to work because they believe their employer is not following COVID-19 safety standards.

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Sen. Warner: New Relief Bill Will Likely Include $600 Stimulus Checks, Less Unemployment Coverage

Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) is confident that the Senate will soon pass the two-part COVID-19 relief package he helped develop. In a Thursday telephone press conference, Warner described key provisions of the plan and addressed controversy over a stimulus check added to the package while also limiting provisions to extend federal unemployment benefits past Christmas.

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Extended Unemployment Benefits Federal Program Ending in Virginia

Approximately 20,000 Virginians who have been relying on extended unemployment benefits over the last several months amidst the coronavirus pandemic will no longer receive those payments come Saturday. 

The Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) announced Wednesday that it has been notified by the U.S. Department of Labor that the Extended Benefits Program in Virginia will end on November 21. 

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Commentary: 4.4 Million Lose Unemployment Benefits Since August as Pelosi Puts Politics Above People

Small business relief, supporting 5.2 million small businesses and 50 million jobs, ran out on Aug. 8 and airlines ran out of money last month as massive layoffs have been ensuing.

In the meantime, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) continues to refuse a deal from President Donald Trump to extend these CARES Act programs — even if it means she loses a few seats in the House over it.

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Virginia Government Asking Citizens to Repay Thousands in Pandemic Unemployment Claims

Virginians are reporting letters from the Virginia Employment Commission (VEC) asking for repayment of unemployment claims due to VEC error.
The government hasn’t made any exceptions for the VEC’s errors resulting in overpayments – even with the mandatory shutdowns throughout this pandemic.

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Trump Signs Executive Orders to Extend Unemployment Benefits, Suspend Some Payroll Taxes, Defer

President Donald Trump on Saturday signed executive orders to supplement unemployment benefits for workers who lose their jobs during the coronavirus pandemic by $400 a week and suspend payroll taxes for those earning less than $100,000 a year.

He also signed orders freezing evictions in federal housing and deferring student loan payments through the end of 2020.

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COVID-19 Unemployment Claims Approach 39 Million Since Mid-March

Even as much of the country eases restrictions and slowly begins to reopen state economies, new jobless claims continued their COVID-19 spike last week, increasing the total number of those filing for unemployment benefits to nearly 39 million since mid-March.

According to data released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor, an additional 2.44 million workers filed for benefits in the week ending May 16. That’s down 249,000 from the revised number of claims filed in the week ending May 9.

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