News Story

Three States Will Refuse Federal Benefit That Makes Staying At Home Pay More Than Working

A Michigan Democrat explained the problem

Arkansas, Montana and South Carolina will end their participation in the federal government’s ongoing offer of a $300-per-week supplemental unemployment benefit.

Arkansas and Montana will stop including federal Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation payments with their state jobless benefits on June 27. South Carolina will terminate the extra $300 weekly payments on June 30.

The checks, included in the third coronavirus stimulus bill passed by Congress, run until Sept. 4, 2021, and they extend unemployment benefits for up to 53 weeks.

In his testimony at a Michigan House hearing last month, Democratic State Rep. David LaGrand explained why some states will no longer pass along the $300 weekly boost. In Michigan, it brings weekly unemployment benefits up to $662 a week, which, he said, is equivalent to working for about $15 an hour.

Describing the impact of this on a worker who sees a help wanted offering a job that pays $11 an hour, the Grand Rapids lawmaker said, “What I’m really being asked to do is work for a $4-an-hour pay cut.”

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.