PNS National Newscast

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the Public News Service (podcast)"
"Hey Google, play the Public News Service podcast"
"Alexa, play Public News Service podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

2020Talks

Audio Activation
"Siri, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Hey Google, play the 2020Talks podcast"
"Alexa, play Two-Thousand-Twenty Talks podcast"
or "Alexa, what's my news flash?" once you set it up in the Alexa app

Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - June 11, 2021 


We reflect and update as HIV/AIDS first came to national attention 40 years ago this month; and when it comes to infrastructure spending, bipartisanship isn't dead yet.


2021Talks - June 11, 2021 


President Biden offers up more COVID-19 vaccines to the world; Dems and GOP close in on an infrastructure deal; and Speaker Pelosi tries to quell a spat over the Middle East among Democrats.

Utah Governor Ends $300 Federal Jobless Benefit Early to Boost Employment

Downloading Audio

Click to download

We love that you want to share our Audio! And it is helpful for us to know where it is going.
Media outlets that are interested in downloading content should go to www.newsservice.org
Click Here if you do not already have an account and need to sign up.
Please do it now, as the option to download our audio packages is ending soon

Gov. Spencer Cox announced an early end last week to Utah's participation in the $300-a-week federal unemployment stimulus program, claiming  workers were making too much money in jobless benefits to return to their jobs. (zimmytws/Adobe Stock)
Gov. Spencer Cox announced an early end last week to Utah's participation in the $300-a-week federal unemployment stimulus program, claiming workers were making too much money in jobless benefits to return to their jobs. (zimmytws/Adobe Stock)
 By Mark Richardson - Producer, Contact
May 17, 2021

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -- Utah officials are cutting back on jobless benefits, claiming without evidence federal "bonus" payments are keeping thousands of Utahns from returning to work.

Critics of the move announced last week by Gov. Spencer Cox, said an early end to the $300 weekly pandemic stimulus and other related benefits will hurt thousands of recipients by slashing their income before they are ready or able to re-enter the workforce.

Chase Thomas, executive director of the Alliance for a Better Utah, said the move will force many workers to re-enter an economy which has not fully recovered from the COVID-19 crisis.

"With the pandemic, we've learned that there are a lot of deficiencies with our existing economic system," Thomas contended. "Whether it's the low level of unemployment benefits, we're also just going back to a severely deficient minimum wage."

Cox called the move a "natural step" toward returning the state to normal and claimed there are more than 50,000 jobs available in Utah.

But Thomas accused him of simply copying a dozen other red-state governors in ending the payments without proof that there is a labor shortage. Thomas also believes many Utahns are hesitant to return to the job market out of concern the pandemic is not over yet.

"It remains to be seen," Thomas argued. "We know that the pandemic is ongoing and that there are people that are still feeling unsafe going back to work. We also know that there are still industries that haven't fully recovered yet."

George Hammond, director of the Economic and Business Research Center and chief economist in the Eller College of Management at the University of Arizona, said it is likely the pandemic is causing long-term, permanent changes to the American work force.

"This is an issue that has been building, as we see continued large-scale retirements of older people as they reach that age," Hammond explained. "The Baby Boom Generation that's been retiring in large numbers for years now, and it's going to continue to affect labor supply."

Currently, about 28,000 Utahns are receiving the additional $300-a-week federal benefit. Under Cox's plan, the unemployment stimulus and other federal payments, originally scheduled to end in early September, will now end in late June.

Best Practices