All of the states offering workers cash incentives to get back to work

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Goldman Sachs said the latest US unemployment figures were encouraging.

  • Amidst a so-called labor shortage, some GOP-led states are ending federal unemployment benefits early.
  • But at least four are offering one-time cash bonuses to workers who return to the workforce.
  • In Connecticut, which hasn’t ended unemployment benefits early, long-term unemployed workers can get a bonus.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Arizona

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey coronavirus update
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.

Arizona is dropping the federal unemployment benefits on July 10. But the state is setting up a cash program to replace it.

It’s using money from the recent stimulus law to fund a one-time bonus of $2,000 for eligible people who return to work full-time. It’ll be $1,000 for those working part-time. The cash is distributed once a person completes ten weeks of work with an employer.

They also must earn $25 an hour or less and start working by Labor Day. Individuals filing for jobless aid after May 13 don’t qualify. 

In a press release. Gov. Doug Ducey said that the state was aiming to pay people to work, rather than “paying people not to work.”

Montana

greg gianforte
Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte.

Montana’s federal unemployment benefits will come to an end on June 27. But workers who find employment could see a $1,200 bonus.

“We need to incentivize Montanans to reenter the workforce,” Gov. Greg Gianforte said in a statement. “Our return-to-work bonus and the return to pre-pandemic unemployment programs will help get more Montanans back to work.”

Workers who were on UI benefits on May 4 are eligible for the bonus; they must work for at least four weeks. According to the Montana Free Press, there’s enough money for 12,500 workers to receive payouts. The program will come to a close in October, a month after the current expanded unemployment benefits are set to expire.

New Hampshire

chris sununu
Gov. Chris Sununu.

New Hampshire is winding down its participation in federal unemployment benefits effective June 19, according to New Hampshire Public Radio. But residents who return to work could see a summer bonus.

Gov. Chris Sununu announced a $10 million pot, funded by federal relief, that will provide workers with one-time bonuses. New Hampshire Public Radio reports that those who work full-time for eight consecutive weeks could get $1,000, and part-time workers could get $500. To be eligible, workers must make under $25 an hour.  

“There are plenty of jobs, and we really want people to get back out there,” Sununu said, per the outlet.

Oklahoma

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Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt.

Oklahoma announced a similar program to entice unemployed workers back into the workforce. It’s also moving to end its participation in federal unemployment benefits, with benefits ending effective June 26. 

But the first 20,000 Oklahomans on unemployment benefits who return to work will get a $1,2000 bonus — paid for by American Rescue Plan funds. 

“For Oklahoma to become a Top Ten state, workforce participation must be at a top level and I am committed to doing what I can to help Oklahomans get off the sidelines and into the workforce,” Gov. Kevin Stitt said in a statement.

To be eligible, workers must have received unemployment benefits between May 2 and May 15. They must complete six consecutive weeks of work for the same employer; payments will begin going out in mid-July.

Blue state Connecticut is also getting in on the action

Gov. Ned Lamont.
Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont.

Connecticut’s not ending federal unemployment benefits, but it is offering cash bonuses to workers who find employment after being out of work for an extended period of time.

Workers who are long-term unemployed — who the Bureau of Labor Statistics defines as those who have been looking for work for at least 27 weeks — could get a $1,000 one-time bonus.

Gov. Ned Lamont said that 10,000 workers will receive the payment. To be eligible, they must have filed for unemployment in the week before May 30, and subsequently obtain a new job and work full-time for eight consecutive weeks.

“This is the latest too in our toolbox to maximize our state’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic,” Lamont said in a statement.

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