Montana governor ends extra unemployment payments, citing worker shortage

'Montana is open for business again, but I hear from too many employers throughout our state who can’t find workers, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte said.

5/5/2021 7:20:00 AM

Montana is ending its participation in the federal unemployment program that gives people extra weekly unemployment benefit payments as the state struggles with a worker shortage, Republican Gov. Gianforte says.

'Montana is open for business again, but I hear from too many employers throughout our state who can’t find workers, Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte said.

Beginning June 27, unemployed workers in the state will no longer receivefunded by the federal government through Sept. 6.The state will launch a new program to give bonuses to unemployed workers who return to work.“Montana is open for business again, but I hear from too many employers throughout our state who can’t find workers. Nearly every sector in our economy faces a labor shortage,” Gianforte said in a statement.

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April 22, 202101:25He said that the extra federal unemployment benefits are “doing more harm than good,” echoing comments by some that the extra payments have served as an incentive for people to stay home, collect the money and not seek work.U.S. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh was

disappointed by Gianforte's decision, according to a statement by U.S. Labor Department spokesperson Michael Trupo.“Choosing to eliminate these critical benefits will have the greatest impact on the most vulnerable,” Trupo said, adding that workers who are at a higher risk from contracting Covid-19 or who live with a vulnerable family member must now “make an impossible choice” between their health and their economic security.

The Labor Department has not seen evidence that enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping people out of the labor force, Trupo said.Montana unemployment recipients can get between $151 and $510 weekly from the state’s program, meaning people claiming unemployment benefits from the state were getting between $451 and $810 weekly because of the federal boost.

The minimum wage in the state is $8.65 per hour, adding up to $346 per week for a full-time job.Under the new Montana incentive program, workers receiving unemployment payments can qualify for a one-time $1,200 bonus after they have completed four weeks in their new jobs. The governor approved $15 million in funding for the incentives from federal coronavirus relief money allocated to the state.

There are about 25,000 people filing unemployment claims for payments in the state, according to the Montana Department of Labor. The department also estimates there are about 14,000 job openings.April 3, 202105:35The state's unemployment rate dropped to 3.8 percent last month, reaching pre-pandemic joblessness levels. Despite an influx of new residents to the state, Labor Commissioner Laurie Esau said the state's workforce is 10,000 workers smaller than it was before the pandemic

“Our labor shortage doesn’t just affect employers and business owners. Employees who are forced to work longer shifts, serve more customers or clients, and take on more duties have been paying the price," Esau said in a statement.A bipartisan advisory commission, made up of lawmakers and members of the executive office, unanimously approved the incentive program Tuesday before the governor approved it.

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The program will run through October and has funding to give the bonuses to as many as 12,500 workers.The bonuses will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Workers who leave their new jobs after receiving the bonus would not qualify for unemployment benefits.

Those rules would “hopefully act as incentives to try to get people to use this quickly, in a right way, for a good job, something that is sustainable,” said Scott Eychner, an administrator with the Department of Labor.Montana's unemployment payment claims rose from a pre-pandemic average of around 10,000 per month to 85,000 in April of last year.

The federal government last spring approved $600 in additional weekly benefits for unemployed workers receiving payments from their states' unemployment programs. That benefit expired in July and was later replaced by the $300 in additional weekly benefits.

In addition to ending participation in the increased unemployment payments, Montana will also require unemployed people applying for benefits to actively seek work to qualify starting at the end of June, a requirement that was waived at the onset of the pandemic. Several states have also announced they will reinstate the work-search requirement, including Vermont, New Hampshire and Arizona.

A 13-week limit on the duration of eligibility for unemployment benefits that was waived during the pandemic will be reinstated. Self-employed workers and independent contractors were eligible for benefits under the extended program but will no longer qualify for Montana unemployment payments.

Several business owners released statements Tuesday applauding the governor's announcement, saying it would help them find employees.“Finding employees has become our biggest challenge," said Laura Carden, chief financial officer of Wheat Montana Farms & Bakery in Three Forks.

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Brad Griffin, president of the Montana Restaurant Association, called the announcement"a step in the right direction.”But some expressed skepticism over the move, saying it did not address the underlying concerns leading jobs to go unfilled in the state, including rising housing costs and wages that are not high enough to pay the bills.

Billy McWilliams, owner of an adult sex store in Bozeman, said he has seen employees leave over the rising cost of living. The policy change “is not addressing the real problems we're facing,” he said.In towns like Bozeman, where costs of housing have skyrocketed during the pandemic, workers “are not getting jobs because these jobs don't pay enough to pay their bills,” McWilliams said.

Read more: NBC News »

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There is a shortage of affordable housing in MT & we are flooded with people from out of state buying houses sight unseen. Rentals are hard to find. In my small town I’ve seen licenses plates from AK, OR, CA, WV & FL in front of houses with sold signs. MT folks can’t afford MT. I still can't believe that Montana elected a Governor that body slammed a reporter.

SaraJones20211 Now how in the hell can you do that, let's kick the beehive A little more Timmy said.... Hmm 🤔 yeah I’m sure the unemployed unskilled citizens of Montana appreciate this moron , bounce his ass out Disgusting A state governor should NOT be allowed to interfere with the federal government POTUS They need to raise their minimum wage!! Right now it's $8.65 an hour $346 a week before taxes. DON'T PUNISH THE WORKERS, PUNISH THE CHEAP EMPLOYERS. This is unAmerican.

Maybe tell your employers to try paying a better wage. Forcing people back into poverty wages, great. Yeah all the food service places around here are crying for workers. The local Lowe’s was hiring too. You know what, they filled their positions because they offered more money. It’s not that difficult.

Now do Massachusetts. It’s the restaurant jobs and gas station jobs that are in need of employees. Low pay jobs, not careers. Jobs you work at when you get out of school. Wanna make a living, get a adult job Shortage of workers shortage of immigrants to do the kind of work that they need Americans don’t want to be dishwashers and fast food workers and farmworkers. Immigrants do those jobs and that’s why we need them to come back. Worker shortage is due to trump not anything else.

These States Are Dropping Federal $300-A-Week Unemployment BenefitsMany Republicans are claiming that overly generous unemployment payments are causing labor shortages. So. Ain't no jobs any ways , quak quak. Aflac , buy it your self since you worried. Bye Felicia. I need basic income not unemployment insurance. You getting interest off that money. I am looking for new, good friends Getting one legitimate trader is almost impossible 😅. But LISATOWNSENDC is a legitimate trader that trades with your funds and takes his own percentage while you get your profits 100%. She's a trader with difference 👌

Do they realize the amount of working adults who died from covid, those who moved out of state. Sheesh. Let it be Wages don’t need raised. Work towards a better paying job. There needs to be starter jobs. Ambition moves you forward. Pennsylvania should do this too. 'We're Hiring' signs are everywhere, including where I work, and NOT just for minimum wage workers. People just don't want to work if they can't be paid not to work. governortomwolf

Good for them! Way to go! Shitty states doing shitty things Vote! It’s not always the business not paying-We pay a very good wage, but people set interviews and don’t show up. It’s both sides. Great bold move! We don’t need unemployment. Lazy fucks just need to go back to work. He’s creating a bigger worker shortage. Some folks are just dumb.

Mississippi The Latest State Dropping $300-A-Week Federal Unemployment BenefitsMany Republicans are claiming that overly generous unemployment payments are causing labor shortages. Do you think this is what people really need right now?

Paying a living wage often attracts workers. Stupid people in every state who believes job seekers stay home - unemployment doesn’t provide enough to live. Go Back to work!!! Obviously its more complicated than just having people “fill a job”, the cost of living and prices to survive: housing, utilities, healthcare are still very expensive.. $8.65 and a one-time $1,200 isn’t going to cover those increasing prices.

We will give you a nothing bonus to return to work for poverty money while all these businesses have jacked their prices. Wake up and stop working for people not willing to pay a living wage. Tuoi ko gioi han, tuong dong ve so thich, loi song ! khong vuong ban con cai, gia dinh, doc than ! People aren't coming back for less than 12 bucks an hour. The rich are about to see who actually holds the power.

This is how how your government tells you they don’t give a damn about you *Militarism *Nanjing Massacre *731 *The Japanese forced women into military service *Sneak attack on Pearl Harbor *Minamata Bay mercury pollution event *Contaminated Fukushima waters into the Pacific Ocean damage all human *Be an American dog

*Montana declares 'back to work! Peasants!'.

Policy Makers Can’t Agree on Causes of Shortage of WorkersRepublicans say enhanced unemployment benefits are keeping workers on sidelines amid a shortage of labor, while Democrats point to child-care and chip shortages With Your PC or Smartphone You Can Make Up To 0.12 BTC (€5000) No recommendations fee, and payments is 100% Guaranteed All You Just Need Do Is Write Me A Direct Message with this link To Get More Details It's always a combination of things. Each party only focuses on the one cause that helps them politically though. what jobs? who wants to go back to giving diabetes to f250 owners?

Incredible. Stripping citizens financially to supply HumanSacrifice on the altar of dividends. Its outrageous this one man can STEAL PRIVATE CITIZENS PAYCHECKS. CorporateSlavery Pay a living wage and you’ll see people applying for jobs. It’s obvious that MT does not have its share of people who entered the US illegally for work.

Translation: Montana wants poor people to suffer and starve Islamic countries were captured by anti-Islamic forces, and Prophet Muhammad SAW instructed Qasim to share the message of the dreams to the Muslim leaders. Qasim’s dreams have warnings for the future, many of which are coming true. More at The shortage exists because businesses want to pay subsistence wages. There would be no shortage if they paid like they want to be paid.

Why doesn't he just body slam workers until they go back to work? I wonder if he also plans to raise the state’s minimum wage as the state struggles with a worker shortage. Translation: get the slaves back in their shackles. Paying Americans to stay home makes it easier for them to justify their need to bring in more foreign workers to fill the void. Then after the money runs out you might not be able to find a job! 🤷‍♂️

South Carolina and Montana to end all pandemic unemployment benefits for jobless residentsSouth Carolina is joining Montana in ending federal pandemic unemployment benefits for its residents next month. The Republican governors of both states say the enhanced jobless programs are dissuading people from returning to the workforce and are creating labor shortages. It’s time to for everyone to get back to work! It should end in all states ASAP But they want firing squads , right? Good

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White House Says $300-A-Week Unemployment Benefits Are Not Causing Worker ShortagesPresident Joe Biden's administration does not believe $300-a-week unemployment benefits are leading to widespread worker shortages Yes they are. Anyone making $32k or less. Completely benefits from this $300 per week is over $1200.00 per month. If you don’t think that keeps people from working for less, you don’t understand human nature OR economics. They should hire an economist or we’re screwed