Indiana to drop out of federal unemployment programs, end $300 supplemental benefit

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Gov. Eric Holcomb announced Monday that Indiana will end its participation in all federal unemployment insurance programs on June 19, meaning Hoosiers will no longer be able to collect an extra $300 benefits payment.

The move will also end payments for people who did not qualify for unemployment benefits before the pandemic, including gig-economy workers, independent contractors and self-employed workers. And it eliminates a benefit extension that allowed out-of-work Hoosiers to receive benefits beyond the traditional 26-week state program.

“There are help wanted signs posted all over Indiana, and while our economy took a hit last year, it is roaring like an Indy 500 race car engine now,” Holcomb, a Republican, said in a statement. “I am hearing from multiple sector employers that they want and need to hire more Hoosiers to grow. We have a myriad of work options in every region of our state with many more coming online every week.”

Indiana joins at least 18 other states that have announced they’re dropping out of the federal programs, which Congress had reauthorized through the summer.

Holcomb’s decision comes about a week after he said he would reinstate a requirement that those receiving unemployment certify they are looking for work.

The state’s unemployment rate was 3.9% last month, one year after it jumped to more than 17% after Holcomb ordered many businesses to shut their doors and Hoosiers to largely stay home.

The Governor’s Office also said that more Hoosiers are in the workforce now than a year ago, and the labor force participation rate is nearing the pre-pandemic level.

Indiana had about 60,000 people receiving traditional unemployment benefits in mid-April—down some 195,000—from a year ago, according to federal statistics. About 225,000 people received payments from other federal jobless programs started to assist those who lost income during the pandemic.

“Eliminating these pandemic programs will not be a silver bullet for employers to find employees, but we currently have about 116,000 available jobs in the state that need filled now,” Holcomb said in the written statement. “I’ve spoken to leaders in the recreational vehicle industry who tell me they could hire thousands of people today, and in the last couple weeks, we’ve seen companies like Amazon, Apple, Toyota, and Milwaukee Tool announce thousands of new career opportunities for Hoosiers.”

The maximum Indiana unemployment benefit is $390 per week, although most workers receive less.

With the state and federal benefits combined, an unemployed Hoosier could receive as much as $690 per week. That’s the equivalent of $17.25 an hour based on a 40-hour work week.

Many companies—especially those in the hospitality industry—have said many people would prefer to receive federal benefits than come to work for lower wages.

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37 thoughts on “Indiana to drop out of federal unemployment programs, end $300 supplemental benefit

    1. I agree. I’m a retired home owner. The two women who live next door to me were both employed in the food service industry and have been unemployed since last summer. There are plenty of jobs out there. Most of the food stores are hiring “shoppers” for those who want to place their orders online and pick up their groceries. And there isn’t a restaurant, bar, grocery store, or big box store around me that isn’t hiring. They choose to mow their lawn every other day and sunbathe instead. And, no, they aren’t using this time to take classes and increase their skills set to better themselves. .

  1. For once I agree with Gov.. Eric Hightax! Saturday I waited 30 minutes for food at a long established (30+ years) bar/restaurant. The place was maybe at half cpacity! To his credit our server advised us before we ordered that because of kitchen staff shortage it would be about 30 minutes. There are jobs everywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Even though Biden said otherwise, we will now see an increase in employment and fewer help wanted signs. I don’t blame people – if govt pays you more to stay home and not work, the rational economic decision is to take the higher payout. It is amazing how elected officials and unelected bureaucrats can be so lacking in common sense…

    1. It’s not common sense. It is an intentional effort to debilitate citizens enough to make them dependent on federal handouts in turn socializing the country. They’ll keep borrowing and inflicting insurmountable debt as long they are able to con the uneducated American voter with trillion dollar spending under the guise of “Infrastructure”. More than half of those packages are pork-laden with unneeded unemployment subsidies, teacher union bailouts, and bailouts with states that have overspent their budgets for decades. If it weren’t from the red states, we’d be no different than Cuba.

    2. Ryan, you are deluding yourself. God forbid we should help someone who lost their job during a pandemic. Check your bible, my friend. And now they are proceeding to do the right thing by saying the support isn’t necessary anymore. How about you go live on minimum wage and let us know how that works out for you?

    3. Excellent commentary, Ryan H.

      Ignorant commentary, Randy S; where does the Bible (capitalize it if you will) instruct believers to pay people more to stay home than to seek gainful employment? Losing one’s job to the pandemic is one thing…but pay attention; that’s not the issue here. The issue here is that too many jobs go begging because people are receiving more money sitting at home than seeking readily-available employment.

    4. Well, let’s see, Bob P. … there was no unemployment compensation in biblical times, so it’s absurd to think that was my reference. Instead, it is the the concept of caring for your neighbor. Perhaps if you weren’t so dogmatic about capitalizing the word Bible, you could take the plank out of your eye and see the obvious parallel I was drawing.

  3. If employers offered more than $10 / hour maybe they would attract more interest.
    It’s not that people don’t want to work, they just want a living wage.

    1. They would probably have to offer more than $20 an hour based on the article information. Unemployment has been paying the equivalent of $17.25/ hour.

    2. Most $10 jobs aren’t meant to be careers but rather summer jobs for students or temporary employment. If someone stays locked into a job like that they either have zero education or aren’t the smartest tool in the shed!

    3. Glen, so what? A lot of people did not get a good education or don’t have the mental capacity to progress upward in their jobs. If you work 40 hour weeks you should not live in poverty.

  4. So if I’m an unemployed person with a home or long term lease living in Indianapolis, and the job in the RV industry is in Elkhart, and I have no experience in manufacturing, how does that job benefit me? Or my family needs me to be nearby as a caregiver for elderly parents or other family members requiring assistance. I abandon them because Eric Holcomb says I should leave my home and go to work in Elkhart?

    Fed Ex and Amazon need help? maybe its not because people are lazy, or prefer unemployment. Maybe its because they are not good places to work. They are hard, very hard places to work, with high turnover for a reason. Maybe some of those issues need to be resolved, and then people will come to work.

    1. Tim. There are jobs everywhere. Get out there and go to work. Work hard, be a good employee and find new opportunities if you don’t like the first one that comes along. It’s what we all have done to be successful and earn a fair wage. Stop complaining. Please.

    2. FedEx and Amazon are not the best entry level jobs – but if you want more than entry level – work your ass off and move up. Or – take one of the other thousands of jobs that are hiring for good jobs and do the same thing there. Go visit a Staffing or Recruiting agency and see how many jobs they have to fill. I cover most of Indiana and half of Illinois calling on manufacturers in Nine major industries and every one of them will hire people that want to work in the $20/hr and up range plus benefits immediately. Our economy is being held back by lack of sufficient work force.

    1. There are jobs working for the State of Indiana that require a bachelor’s degree that pay around $22hr to start. If we begin to pay cooks and food servers $18-22/hr then it would seem to be only right to increase their pay as well. If not, why get an education?

  5. Probably a good idea, though I agree with CMA.

    Off topic pet peeve – Why is it that Hoosiers can’t follow basic rules of grammar to include the verb “to be”. Instead of “Eliminating these pandemic programs will not be a silver bullet for employers to find employees, but we currently have about 116,000 available jobs in the state that need filled now,” Holcomb said in the written statement.”

    “…need filled now.” Is grating to the ear of an educated person.

    Try “…about 116,000 available jobs in the state that need TO BE filled now.” If that doesn’t sound better, then you’re a Hoosier.

    And don’t blame it on “I’m just typing fast.” This is a direct quote from our Governor.

    1. “If that doesn’t sound better, then you’re a Hoosier” Randy S, are you serious? That statement shows arrogance and pettiness on your part. Pitiful.

    2. Steven C – it appears you mistake reasonably well educated as arrogant. And I did say it was a pet peeve so, sure, it’s petty. What else you got, big guy?

    3. Sounds like you’re educated Randy, maybe you should now consider some manners???? Be nice, it’s contagious!

    4. Ryan, you’re right. I am too quick to pounce. And yet, isn’t that the nature of comment sections filled with extremists?

    5. Randy S, Your Pet Peeve commentary may have been taken more seriously if you hadn’t suggested in a very derogatory manner those who didn’t agree with it were “… a Hoosier.” Why reduce the potential accuracy of the point you made by adding inflammatory statements suggesting that all people who identify as being Hoosiers are implied to be dumb because they don’t get the finer nuances of the English language as you. Good communications speak to the masses and are not targeted solely for the elites.

    6. Steven, point taken – I’m frequently in a snarky mood these days due to unrelated issues. I moved here 20 years ago, and this particular quirk in grammar was absent in my home area. It’s ever-present here in Indianapolis, so that’s why I mentioned you must be from these parts if dropping “to be” doesn’t seem off. I’m sorry if you think pointing out a common local grammatical error is elitist. Not sure I agree with your sentiment that good communications begin with speaking on a level that is targeted to the masses. True in some cases, not others.

  6. I like the very data driven scenario that rent/mortgage should be 25% of your income.
    Nationwide average is $1490 rent
    Which means a livable wage, one where you don’t continue the working poor stifle is $34/hour.

    That is a long term plan for recovery and not just complains from high wage earners who are not getting their Uber, latte or burgers fast enough.

  7. The fact that one can stay home and collect more in government benefits than they can make working demonstrates the workers should be paid more in salary and benefits and executives can live on a few million less.

  8. My wife and I married young. Thankfully, we came from frugal families. We struggled for a while, living in tiny apartments and eating lots of turkey burger mixed with rice because it was cheap. We stuck to one low cost compact car. We worked hard, saved our money. We did get some temporary help from family while we finished our college degrees. Over the years we moved up economically and I took the risk of joining with a friend to build a start-up company. Worked my butt off, took measured risks, and now that company is doing extremely well and I’m probably considered “rich”. We’ve been giving back by helping other family members now, particularly younger family members. I’m not bragging here, just noting that it took hard work and lean times to get to where I am. It also took some luck and was assisted by helpful family (though I think we could have done it anyway, just would have been that much harder). I sympathize with those who don’t come from families that have a mindset of frugality and inter-generational progress by helping the next generation along, but I just get the sense that many today would consider us suckers for having worked that hard when we could have filed for unemployment or some other government program. You hear people talking about how America as “one of the richest nations on earth” should be able to provide this and that. We became rich by having people work hard and make sacrifices to build our wealth as a nation and not expect the government to take care of them. We have levels of debt now that were once considered unsustainable and were it not for countries like China buying all our debt, probably wouldn’t be now. If people think this can’t all come tumbling down, then they haven’t read enough history.

    1. William, yours is an admirable story and I agree 95%. Where I would slightly differ is that few would consider you a sucker for not sitting at home collecting $20,000/ yr in U/C. In today’s dollars, that’s barely enough on which to survive.