ATLANTA – Majority Whip and State Senator Steve Gooch (R-51) has asked Governor Brian Kemp (R) to halt the federal unemployment relief in Georgia.
In a letter sent to Kemp’s desk today, Gooch details how many small businesses are struggling to find people to work. Many restaurants can’t fully open because they don’t have the staff.
“While we are still recovering from the economic impact of the pandemic, local business owners are desperate for employees – not customers. Every job creator agrees that this workforce shortage is a direct result of the federal expanded unemployment benefits, where employees are incentivized to stay home and collect government checks that often exceed what they would earn at the job site. This labor shortage has caused many restaurants to alter their hours of operation and is having an oversized impact on the supply chain of every sector of the economy. In fact, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers cannot deliver their goods and services to their customers. Costs are skyrocketing due to limited inventories and Georgia businesses – and consumers – are struggling to foot the bill.” – Senator Steve Gooch
Gooch touches on teacher’s unions preventing parents from returning to work because some schools haven’t returned to in-person learning.
The Senator cites that a COVID-19 vaccine is widely available and free to whoever wishes to take it.
He urges Kemp to take executive action and stop the unemployment benefits or include the issue in a Special Session late this summer.
The American Rescue Plan signed by President Joe Biden (D) on March 11, 2021, extended Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) programs through September 6, 2021.
FPUC sends out a $300 weekly supplement until September 6, 2021 “as appropriate” and is subject to deductions, child support, and overpayment recoveries.
Last week, Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis (R) moved to reinstate the weekly “work search” updates required to receive unemployment benefits. Florida suspended the measure when the pandemic began.
Georgia Department of Labor Commissioner Mark Butler (R) released an earlier statement that the Georgia requirements for unemployment are likely to return within the next few months.
“We are hearing from employers that are struggling to meet demand right now due to the lack of applicants for open positions,” said Georgia Labor Commissioner Mark Butler. “Our mission is to not only bridge the pay gap for those who are temporarily unemployed, but to also provide reemployment support for those who are looking to reenter the workforce filling the critical vacancies we are seeing in almost every industry right now.”