Jobless Claims Hit Pandemic Low

Notwithstanding the expanding spread of the COVID Delta variant and the ongoing difficulties with getting the economy completely opened up again – let alone the continuing labor shortage – first-time unemployment claims dropped last week to 340,000, the lowest level since the pandemic hit in March of 2020. This Department of Labor (DOL) report comes…

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Maryland Unemployment Premium Restored

As we advised you last week, a Maryland court in Baltimore had ordered the restoration of the federal $300 weekly premium for unemployed individuals, notwithstanding the severe labor shortage that businesses are currently facing. Well, this week in that same Baltimore City Circuit Court, Judge Lawrence Fletcher-Hill replaced his 10-day restraining order with a preliminary…

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Fighting Over Unemployment Premium

As the labor shortage continues to wreak havoc with small businesses across the country, the issue is being fought out in a host of different venues. First off, there are the many states that have announced (or already) that they are suspending or ceasing the extra bonus payments as we’ve reported in prior issues. That…

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States Tightening Unemployment Rules

With no indications from Washington DC that the President or Congressional leaders recognize how the $300 unemployment premium is exacerbating the labor shortage, a number of governors around the country are taking action on their own to help get their citizens back to work. As of this writing, no fewer than 12 governors – coincidentally…

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Federal Back to Work Idea

Perhaps taking a page from the Montana playbook, a couple of republicans in Congress have drafted a federal back-to-work bill that seeks to address the current labor shortage on a national level. Idaho Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Reisch along with Representative Kevin Brady (R-TX8) have filed the Reopening America by Supporting Workers and Businesses…

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DOL Expands UI Eligibility

Speaking of changes from the Department of Labor, the agency earlier this year expanded the categories of worker eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA). In a guidance letter sent to state unemployment administrators, DOL added eligibility for: workers receiving unemployment benefits who had been denied continued benefits because they refused to work at a worksite…

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