NEW ESTIMATE OF GEORGIA PEUC RECIPIENTS SHOWS OVER 114,000 LONG-TERM JOBLESS FACING COMPLETE AID CUTOFF JUNE 26
An estimated 218,434 Georgians will abruptly lose all unemployment assistance at the end of this week, according to a new analysis released today by the National Employment Law Project (NELP). That figure comprises 114,820 long-term unemployed workers currently receiving extended weeks of Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), plus another 103,614 Georgians currently receiving Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.
All together, more than 347,000 people are receiving some form of jobless aid in Georgia, and nearly two in three will lose all aid when the state shuts off all federal pandemic unemployment payments on June 26th at the direction of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler and Governor Brian Kemp.
NELP’s analysis of the impact of states’ unilateral cutoffs of federally funded pandemic unemployment benefits includes a first-ever estimate of Georgia PEUC recipients facing the cutoff of those benefits. Georgia is one of only two states that do not report this data to the U.S. Labor Department.
Additional data on the impact of Georgia’s unemployment aid cutoffs include the following:
- Of the 347,422 people receiving unemployment payments in Georgia, 114,820 PEUC and 103,614 PUA recipients will be cut off completely, leaving them with no jobless aid at all.
- Nearly two-thirds (62.9%) of unemployment recipients in Georgia will be cut off completely.
- Of the 22 states ending all CARES Act pandemic unemployment programs early, Georgia (347,422) ranks second only to Texas (1,149,892) in the number of people affected.
- Black, Latinx, and other people of color will be disproportionately affected by the cutoffs: a majority (51.8%) of state unemployment insurance recipients in Georgia are workers of color.
Nationally, more than 4.7 million people will be affected by the cutoffs of federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), the weekly $300 supplement to all benefits; Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), the expanded program for self-employed, gig workers, and others excluded from regular state unemployment eligibility; and PEUC, the extended weeks for people whose regular state benefits run out.
- Nationally, in the week ending May 29th, 76% of all unemployment recipients were PEUC or PUA benefit recipients.
- In the 22 states ending all pandemic jobless aid early, 74.7% are PEUC or PUA recipients who will be cut off completely.
“The CARES Act’s pandemic unemployment programs continue to be a critical lifeline for millions of people looking for work in a changed economy still jolted by the pandemic,” said Rebecca Dixon, executive director of NELP. “The decision by Governor Kemp and Labor Commissioner Butler to abruptly end these family-sustaining payments is callous and downright cruel. These programs fill huge gaps in unemployment eligibility, benefit adequacy, and duration. They are helping families and communities—particularly Black workers and other people of color—weather an economic crisis that the U.S. is only beginning to emerge from. The success of these programs is clear proof that our unemployment insurance system is in dire need of comprehensive reform. Congress should make UI reform an urgent priority this year, and extend the pandemic aid programs for as long as people need them.”
This blog originally appeared at NELP on June 23, 2021. Reprinted with Permission.
About the Author: NELP fights for policies to create good jobs, expand access to work, and strengthen protections and support for low-wage workers and the unemployed.
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