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New report says states that ended pandemic unemployment benefits early added jobs twice as fast

New data shows that states in the U.S. that ended federal unemployment benefits early added jobs aster than states that kept them around until expiration over the Labor Day weekend.

Some economists had argued that extending the additional $300 in unemployment payments would keep people out of work longer than if they ended. Proponents of the payments argued that due to the continued public health crisis – as the Delta Variant surged across the U.S. – it was necessary to maintain the extra unemployment payments.

A new report says that states that ended the federal unemployment benefits early experienced employment growth that was twice as fast as those that kept the programs running.

The study came out after the disappointing August jobs report showed that very few were actually re-added to the economy. “A lot of pundits rushed out and said, ‘Well, there’s no effect, there’s no story here everyone just move on,” the report’s author said.

The data is still mixed, though. Mainly because the economic losses of that $300 in unemployment played out in other ways. In short, people had less money to spend, which created an economic issue of its own. So, yes, people were going back to work, but it wasn’t as cut-and-dry as some hoped.

Calls have continued for unemployment benefits to be extended, but it’s unlikely that happens at this point, since Congress has been focusing on other initiatives – like the infrastructure bill recently approved and signed into law.