PUA (unemployment for those that do not qualify for regular unemployment benefits), PEUC (extensions for those eligible for regular unemployment benefits), and PUC (the $600/$300 supplement being paid out to those receiving either regular UI/PEUC or PUA) benefits are currently slated to expire on Sept.5th/6th. So, the last week of these benefits available will be the week ending Sept. 4th.
“The report, authored by TCF senior fellow and unemployment expert Andrew Stettner, who correctly forecasted two previous UI cliffs (Dec 26 and March 14), finds that, based on rates of reemployment and when workers entered federal programs, there will be 7.5 million workers remaining on PUA + PEUC when benefits are eliminated on Labor Day. This includes:
- 4.2 million workers on the PUA program.
-The largest group is in California (more than 1M workers), but there are more than 150,000 individuals impacted in Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania each.
- 3.3 million workers on the PEUC program.
-California is again the largest impacted state (900,000), but Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania also each have 125,000 workers subject to the loss.
-TCF projects that only 4 states will be able to transition recipients exhausting PEUC onto state EB, meaning that just 170,000 of the 7.5M workers (2 out of 100) cut-off on Labor Day will continue receiving any assistance.
- These figures are on top of the 1.25 million workers that have already been cutoff from benefits in 26 states and who will remain unemployed by Labor Day, TCF estimates.
- Additionally, there are still nearly 3 million workers receiving the $300 boost to state UI through FPUC, all of whom will lose this aid come Labor Day, stripping $3.5 billion per month from the economy.
- The 7.5 million cutoff is far larger than recent historical precedent following recessions, when only 1.3 million workers were cut off in 2013 and 800,000 were cut off in 2003.
- The unemployment rate is 1.7 times higher than it was at the start of the pandemic (3.5 percent) and the Black unemployment rate is still a sky-high 9.2 percent.
“TCF’s projections come as yet further data demonstrate that unemployment benefits are not hindering, but rather helping, the nation’s economic recovery. A recent report from Homebase found that states that announced an early end of federal UI benefits saw employment decline by roughly 1 percent, while states that did not end benefits early saw employment growth of 2.3 percent.
“This week’s unemployment data continue to show that, while the jobs market is recovering, the level of unemployment claims remains historically high, and is unlikely to return to normal levels any time soon, especially as the Delta variant rages. In the week ending July 30, there were still over 400,000 new weekly claims for benefit (324,000 state NSA and 94,000 PUA). Most importantly, there are a whopping 12.5 million continuing claims for benefits, including 5.16 million on PUA (down 89,000) and 4.25 million on PEUC (up 12,000), nearly all of whom reside in states where benefits will end on September 6.
“As Congress negotiates a reconciliation package, TCF’s latest report recommends a slew of federal and state policy recommendations to extend aid and strengthen the UI system overall. These include comprehensive, permanent reforms to ensure automatic triggers and requirements for more generous state benefits, which currently average a meager $334 per week.”
For claimants in Wisconsin, this cutoff means many will need to file initial claims in the next week or so (i.e., this August) IN CASE their current initial claim is reversed or denied. As far too many initial claims are still waiting to be decided now for a year or longer, claimants still have no idea how or why which program — PUA or regular UI/PEUC — is right for them.
More on when and what to include in a backup initial claim in another post.