Gov. Ivey announces end of participation in federal pandemic unemployment compensation programs

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FILE – In this July 29, 2020 file photo, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks during a news conference in Montgomery, Ala. Ivey announced plans Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020 to move forward with state leasing of three privately built mega prisons that would begin construction next year, in what she described as a step toward overhauling an understaffed and violence-plagued prison system beset by years of federal criticism. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler, File)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Governor Kay Ivey announced that Alabama will no longer be participating in federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs starting June 19.

There are four federal programs that Alabama will no longer by utilizing include:

  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, which provides for an additional $300 weekly payment to recipients of unemployment compensation.
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which provides benefits for those who would not usually qualify, such as the self-employed, gig workers, and part-time workers.
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which provides for an extension of benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted, and
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation, which provides an additional $100 benefit to certain people with mixed earnings.

Eligible claims submitted up to June 19 will continue to be processed under these federal programs.

“As Alabama’s economy continues its recovery, we are hearing from more and more business owners and employers that it is increasingly difficult to find workers to fill available jobs, even though job openings are abundant,” said Governor Ivey. “Among other factors, increased unemployment assistance, which was meant to be a short-term relief program during emergency-related shutdowns, is now contributing to a labor shortage that is compromising the continuation of our economic recovery.”

“Alabama has an unemployment rate of 3.8%, the lowest in the Southeast, and significantly lower than the national unemployment rate. Our Department of Labor is reporting that there are more available jobs now than prior to the pandemic. Jobs are out there,” continued Governor Ivey. “We have announced the end date of our state of emergency, there are no industry shutdowns, and daycares are operating with no restrictions. Vaccinations are available for all adults. Alabama is giving the federal government our 30-day notice that it’s time to get back to work.”

The Alabama Department of Labor has reinstated that unemployment claimants must be actively searching for work to remain eligible for unemployment benefits. That requirement had been waived during the height of the pandemic.

“We have more posted job ads now than we did in either February or March 2020,” said Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington. “Ads for workers in the leisure and hospitality industry are up by 73%. Overall, ads are up by nearly 40%.  There are plenty of opportunities available in multiple industries in Alabama.”

Alabamians can get help finding a job through the Alabama Career Center System, which operates 53 centers.

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