Pandemic unemployment benefits set to expire on Labor Day

Business

SAN DIEGO — Three key pandemic-era unemployment benefit programs are days away from expiring, including that extra weekly $300 for some.

Some states already have ended the programs, but in California they expire on Labor Day.

FOX 5 financial expert Chase Wilsey says the benefits could not last forever.

“It’s not a sustainable way to keep the economy running so whether it was going to happen Sept. 6 or Dec. 6, whatever it may have been, it would’ve had to come to an end at some point,” Wilsey said.

The three federal unemployment aid programs were created under the March 2020 CARES act. They include:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance covered those not traditionally eligible for aid;
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation extended aid for those who exhausted their state’s benefit period; and
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation was a weekly boost intended to help people recover more of their lost wages. It started at $600 a week and was later reduced to $300 a week.

Wilsey says missing people in the labor force is having a ripple effect.

“You’re seeing all these different supply constraints,” he said. “There’s problems with inflation. Part of the problem for that is supply – we’re not able to manufacture products, maybe we’re not able to transport those products because of this labor crunch.”

Meanwhile, there’s no shortage of ‘help wanted’ signs in the community as businesses are searching out talent, both in San Diego County and nationwide.

Nearly 9 million people were still claiming unemployment nationwide in the month of July, according to Wilsey.

“The number of job openings from the most recent report is 10.1 million – it was a record high,” he said. “There’s more job openings than unemployed people in the economy. There’s a big mismatch there.”

The next federal employment report taking a look at the month of August is set to be released Friday.

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