Ending federal unemployment benefits early will cost Miss. over $323M, report finds

Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 11:58 AM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Ending federal unemployment benefits just two weeks early will cost Mississippi over $323 million, according to a report from Congress’s Joint Economic Committee.

Federal unemployment benefits end June 12 in Mississippi.

The decision, made by Governor Tate Reeves, cuts short federal unemployment benefits for 70,000 people statewide.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation is $300, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics report claims the move will have a deep-seated impact on the Magnolia State’s economy.

“By ending these programs early, states are refusing billions of already appropriated federal dollars that could be spent in local groceries, restaurants, and retail shops,” the report reads.

The report estimates that every $1 in unemployment insurance generates $1.61 in local spending.

Based on the number of claims here, the report says individuals will lose exactly $201,230,331 million, and the economy will lose $323,980,834.

Researchers say their figures are underestimated because the report does not take into account the early cancellation of the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs.

The benefits are a part of President Biden’s $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, providing a $300 weekly boost of aid.

Gov. Reeves’ office did not respond to our request regarding this report. However, the governor has been clear about where he stands on this issue.

“The purpose of unemployment benefits is to temporarily assist Mississippians who are unemployed through no fault of their own. After many conversations over the last several weeks with Mississippi small business owners and their employees, it has become clear that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) and other like programs passed by the Congress may have been necessary in May of last year but are no longer so in May of this year,” he tweeted after announcing his decision to cancel federal benefits June 12.

Read the full report here.

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