Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced that the state will no longer participate in all federal pandemic unemployment programs June 19th.
According to an Alabama Department of Labor spokesperson, federal programs almost doubled unemployment benefits for Alabamians.
Right now, people receiving unemployment could be getting anywhere from $350 to $575 a week.
State unemployment only pays $44 to $275 per week.
Thousands of people who are currently receiving benefits will no longer be eligible after June 19. According to ADOL, of the 80,000 people who received benefits last week, only 11,000 of them would still qualify once Alabama ends its participation in federal pandemic unemployment compensation programs.
ADOL says Alabama is one of about 6 states to announce they are no longer going to receive federal dollars for pandemic unemployment programs.
“There are no major industry shutdowns in the state anymore there are no restrictions on childcare facilities, the nursing homes have opened back up and all those type care facilities. So, those impediments are no longer there,” said Tara Hutchison, ADOL spokesperson.
Governor Kay Ivey released a statement regarding her announcement saying in part, “Among other factors, increased unemployment assistance, which was meant to be a short-term relief program during emergency related shutdowns, is now contributing to a labor shortage that is compromising the continuation of our economic recovery.”
When it comes to the actual unemployment rate, it appears the state has bounced back pretty quickly. The current unemployment rate is 3.8 percent. That is only 1.1 percent higher than the lowest recorded unemployment rate in the state’s history, which was 2.7 percent. That record low unemployment rate was reported in December 2019.
The current unemployment rate is a stark contrast from the highest unemployment rate reported during the pandemic, which was 13.2 percent for the month of April.
Free resources are offered to job seekers on ADOL’s website.