Republican-led states are ending increased unemployment benefits.
West Virginia and Alaska are the latest states to end the supplemental unemployment benefits provided by the federal government.
Officials in GOP-led states claim the $300 increased benefits are a disincentive for people to return to work, leading toas businesses try to rehire workers
“West Virginians will have access to thousands of jobs right now and we need everybody back to work,” Governor Jim Justice said.
The increased unemployment benefits will end on June 19 in West Virginia.
The end of federal enhanced unemployment benefits could affect upwards of two million Americans.
On Monday, President Joe Biden said that Americans that are collecting unemployment benefits must accept suitable job opportunities when they are offered or they will risk losing benefits.
“The line has been because of the generous unemployment benefits, that it’s a major factor in labor shortages. Americans want to work. Americans want to work,” the President said. “I think the people claiming Americans won’t work even if they find a good and fair opportunity underestimate the American people.”
The American Rescue Plan, which was passed in March, provided an additional $300 unemployment benefits through September.
“We’ll insist that the law is followed with respect to benefits,” President Biden said. “But we’re not going to turn our backs on our fellow Americans.”
White House Press Secretary, Jen Psaki, spoke out about the Republican Governor’s ending the supplemental unemployment benefits.
“What we’ve seen in the data is that the actual issues at play here are the pandemic and people needing to address things like child care,” Psaki said.
Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming have all announced they will stop the increased unemployment benefits sometime over the summer.