Gov. Mike Parson announces Missouri will stop participating in all federal pandemic related unemployment benefits, citing “labor shortage” in the state

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Gov. Mike Parson held a press conference on Tuesday to announce that Missouri will end participation in all federal pandemic related unemployment benefits effective Saturday, June 12. 

Parson began by listing off statistics related to the Missouri economy and workforce, and how it has bounced back after the initial hit of COVID-19. Namely, Missouri is first in the nation in small business wage growth, second for the lowest change of unemployment rate and fourth in the nation for new manufacturing facilities.

However, Parson then noted that many businesses are still struggling to operate because of a “labor shortage” due to individuals refusing to work and instead, living off of federal unemployment benefits. 

“Many business owners and employers across the state are still struggling,” Parson said. “Not because of COVID-19, but because they can’t find people to fill the jobs.” 

Parson included that the stoppage of benefits applies to all 6 federal pandemic unemployment insurance programs.

Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, South Carolina and Montana have all announced similar withdrawals from participation in the federal programs.

“While these federal benefits provided necessary financial assistance during the height of the COVID-19, they were intended to be temporary,” Parson continued.

“Continuing these programs only worsens the workforce issues we are currently facing. It’s time we end these programs that have incentivized people to stay out of the workforce.” 

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