The end of UI pandemic benefit programs went into effect nationwide on September 6. In response, more than 70 Kentucky organizations have urged legislatures “to protect the health of Kentuckians, our workforce and the education of our children.”
As a result, four unemployment programs expired: Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, Pandemic Emergency Compensation, and Pandemic Compensation. mixed unemployment cases.
“With a booming economy and job opportunities available across the Commonwealth, there is no valid reason why a Kentuckian who wants a job shouldn’t be able to find one,” said Governor Andy Beshear in a press release.
Sixteen state lawmakers saw the Special Legislative Session last week as an opportunity for the General Assembly to rectify potential dangers arising from House Bill 1, Senate Bill 1, Senate Bill Senate 2 and Joint House Resolution 77.
“These new laws could potentially eliminate flexibilities to increase our healthcare capacity and other measures to protect and educate students, support workers, and protect our long-term care and incarcerated residents,” according to a letter written by a coalition of over 70 people. Kentucky organizations.
Beshear said his decision not to cut unemployment benefits prematurely in the event of a pandemic “has helped Kentuckians who lack access to child care at a time when students cannot be in school during the summer months “. He added that unemployment benefits generated $ 34 million in sales at grocery stores, retailers and restaurants.
The unemployment rate in Lyon County in July was 4.3% – 142 people unemployed. The seasonally adjusted preliminary unemployment rate for August 2021 for Kentucky was 4.3%, while the U.S. unemployment rate is 5.2%, according to the Kentucky Center for Statistics.
Lyon County Executive Judge Wade White has expressed support for the elimination of unemployment benefits in the event of a pandemic. He said businesses in the community continue to face staffing challenges, hampering recovery efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I think the government’s involvement in allowing people to stay home and make more money than they would work has been more damaging to our mom and pop stores than COVID,” White said.
Amanda Davenport of the Lake Barkley Partnership works closely with local employers and government on economic development in Caldwell, Crittenden, Livingston and Lyon counties. She said: “By the numbers, unemployment rates have come down closer to what we were seeing before the pandemic.”
Davenport said Lyon County is unique in that two large employers, the Kentucky State Penitentiary and the Western Kentucky Correctional Complex, are spurring population growth while supporting it, especially during the pandemic. . Davenport noted that other public entities such as the school district and local government ensure the stability and longevity of employees.
The effects of the expiry of unemployment benefits in the event of a pandemic are not visible and the consequences are not evident at the moment, Davenport said.
Although pandemic unemployment benefits have ended in Kentucky, the child tax credit is supporting emergency relief for many families.
“The increased and advanced CTC payments were expected to reach 93% of Kentucky’s children and couldn’t come at a more crucial time. National job growth has slowed due to the increase in the number of cases caused by the rapid spread of the delta variant, ”said Valerie Frost, of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy.