BOISE, Idaho — Idaho Gov. Brad Little announced Tuesday the state will end its participation in all federal pandemic unemployment programs. Little said his decision to withdraw from the programs will help employers get Idahoans back to work.
"Employers are telling me one of the big reasons they cannot recruit and retain some workers is because those employees are receiving more on unemployment than they would while working," Little said in a statement. "We see 'Help Wanted' signs everywhere. Idaho has the strongest economy in the nation, and we are a top 10 state for best employment, but there is more we can do. It's time to get back to work."
Effective June 19, 2021, the following programs will end in Idaho:
- Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) – provides an additional $300 weekly payment
- Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) – benefits those who would not usually qualify for unemployment, such as the self-employed and others
- Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC) – extends benefits once regular benefits have been exhausted
Idaho was also one of three states that did not participate in the Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) unemployment program, which provides a $100 benefit to certain people on top of the additional $300 weekly payment.
The state also began requiring unemployment recipients to provide proof of their search for work in order to receive payments.
Little added that a strong economy "cannot exist without workers returning to a job."
The Idaho Chamber Alliance (ICA) and chambers of commerce across the state voiced their support for Little's decision. ICA chairman Chip Schwarze said this is an important step in helping businesses recover from the pandemic.
"We look forward to working with the Governor's Office as we seek ways to improve workforce availability for Idaho's businesses," Schwarze said in a statement.
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