Louisiana could end federal unemployment benefit
SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The $300 federal unemployment benefit could come to end in Louisiana.
Lawmakers have agreed to end the benefit and add $28 to state unemployment next year. Gov. John Bel Edwards has to approve this for the federal benefit to end.
Right now, the maximum Louisiana state unemployment benefit is $247. A person who is eligible for both benefits is receiving $2,188 a month. If the federal unemployment is taken away, that will go down to a maximum benefit of $988 a month.
“I’m still waiting for the report from economist Dr. Richardson to indicate the degree to which Louisiana benefits from continued use of these enhanced benefits,” Edwards said.
Several Louisiana businesses say they are struggling to find workers.
Tejas Kitchen Bar Patio in Shreveport has had a difficult time finding staffers. Owner James Westin-Mcelwee said they usually have 16 people on staff but are down to eight.
“We don’t have a source for employees right now.”
Westin-Mcelwee said he hopes ending the federal benefits will cause more people to go back to work.
The Louisiana Budget Project disagrees with lawmakers’ decision to end the federal unemployment benefit. They organization believes that the state has not recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic and that ending the federal benefit would be detrimental.
“For a lot of people who can’t find the kind of job they are looking for, this is a lifeline,” said Jan Moller, the organization’s executive director. “This money is not coming from state taxpayers; it’s coming from the federal government.”
The federal unemployment benefit will not end unless Edwards agrees.
Copyright 2021 KSLA. All rights reserved.