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Louisiana to end unemployment benefits for “gig workers,” self-employed residents in August | Legislature – New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana 2021-07-14 19:15:00 –

Louisiana will cut off unemployment allowances for nearly 100,000 self-employed people from August to help musicians, contractors, so-called “gig workers” avoid financial ruin in the economic turmoil of the coronavirus pandemic. End the useful federal program prematurely.

Weekly allowances are cut in half next month as Louisiana joins the federal list of states refusing to increase the $ 300 weekly unemployment allowance for those who continue their unemployment allowances. I will. Unstable premise That they are causing a labor shortage.

Governor John Bel Edwards opts out of the federal program five weeks before its official expiration date in exchange for support for a modest long-term increase in the state’s weekly unemployment allowance from Republicans and corporate groups. I agreed.

Under a compromise, hashed in the last minutes of the legislative assembly, lawmakers approved a weekly increase in state unemployment allowance of $ 28 from January 2022. But to take effect, the Democratic Governor said the state’s “Federal Supplementary Unemployment Allowance Program” by the end of July.

Senator Jay Renault calls them “twins” because they often testify in line in front of the Senate Labor Relations Committee …

Edwards accepted the arrangement, and in June the Louisiana Labor Relations Commission notified the federal government that it would opt out of the program from 31 July. The move has made Louisiana one of the few states led by Democratic leaders, and their official expiration of Workers’ Day.

During many legislative sessions, Edwards resisted a call for early termination of supplementary benefits. He said that unlike the other 20 states that opted out for payments, Louisiana has a tourism-centric economy and visitors have just returned.

To avoid “rushing decisions,” the Edwards administration hired long-time LSU economist Jim Richardson to analyze the potential impact of this move on Louisiana’s economy.

According to a report submitted to Edwards and obtained by the newspaper, Richardson will pocket up to $ 220 million in direct payments for the Louisiana unemployed if a supplementary benefit of $ 300 a week is maintained. I presumed to put it in.

Richardson argued that at least 40% of people currently receiving unemployment benefits, or nearly 59,000, would need to get a job in August to respond to the economic activity of these stimuli. According to Richardson, the state job search site HiRE contained 50,000 job listings at the end of June.

Separately, Richardson estimates that the $ 28 surge in weekly payments will bring an additional $ 143 million to the unemployed over the next decade and a half.

The report does not address the economic implications of lifting the benefits that “gig workers” and other self-employed people receive under federal pandemic unemployment support. It also does not mention the implications of revoking extended benefits for those who are unemployed beyond the state’s 26-week limit.

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Governor John Bel Edwards has signed a bill to increase the state’s unemployment allowance by $ 28 a week starting next year …

According to an analysis of the Louisiana Budget Project to the left, Louisiana’s largest unemployment allowance is the lowest in the United States at $ 247 per week, the lowest average weekly allowance in the United States. The state hasn’t boosted its profits for over 20 years. This is the fact that Edwards has gained support for legislation.

“For a long time, Louisiana had the smallest weekly benefits in the country. And we need to do better in it. Everything is a trade-off. Reasonable people, where you line There may be exact disagreements about whether to draw, “Edwards said at a press conference at the end of the session.

Edwards also said he wanted to strike a “reasonable balance” between helping the unemployed and helping businesses that say they’re having a hard time finding someone to fill the ranks. According to Richardson, the state still has 155,000 jobs, below pre-pandemic levels, and since September 2020, the state has added about 3,700 jobs a month.

Still, it’s unclear whether ending these $ 300 weekly payments will have the intended effect of boosting the workforce. Yang Moller, head of the Louisiana Budget Project, said state law requires workers to look for jobs already to receive benefits.

“This week’s $ 300 isn’t a license to sit on the couch until Labor Day,” Moller said. “Indisputable is that this is the pure federal money you are robbing from being used in the Louisiana economy.”

Benzucker, co-director of Steppe Louisiana, who advocates better working conditions for the people, said the problem was not a labor shortage, but a “good job shortage.”He Voting from Morning Consult We asked people receiving unemployment benefits why they quit their jobs. Among the answers were concerns about childcare obligations, coronavirus pandemics and small payments.

Stephen Burns, a professor of economics at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, said labor shortages are hindering some of Louisiana’s potential for economic recovery, but whether additional payments are the cause. Said it was unknown.

“Determining in real time whether this is an accurate and correct decision is ultimately very difficult,” says Burns.

He says Louisiana is ready for growth next month and believes there will be ample opportunities for people to re-engage in the economy in the coming weeks as demand for tourism in the region is stagnant. I will.

“As time goes on, more data and a clearer understanding of this will ultimately be a close call and will not dramatically change Louisiana’s economic outlook,” Burns said. Said.

Louisiana to end unemployment benefits for “gig workers,” self-employed residents in August | Legislature Source link Louisiana to end unemployment benefits for “gig workers,” self-employed residents in August | Legislature

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