Sununu to End $300 Unemployment Supplement
As employers continue to struggle with hiring for the summer season, New Hampshire looks to be the first state in the Northeast to end the $300 unemployment supplement.
The supplement, part of President Joe Biden's American Rescue Plan, provides an additional federal payment to those collecting unemployment from their respective states. It is also blamed for creating difficulties in hiring for the summer months especially for restaurants, hotels and other tourism related businesses.
"While it's been extremely important for a lot of folks it's likely sidelined some people from searching for work," New Hampshire Lodging and Restaurant Association CEO Mike Somers told Seacoast Current earlier.
During the New Hampshire Business & Industry Association Economic Summit on Thursday, Gov. Chris Sununu said the benefit will end in New Hampshire before its scheduled conclusion on Labor Day. The governor said his administration is studying trends and data similar to those followed to determine the right time to end the state's mask mandate.
"We're definitely thinking about doing it in the next few weeks. I can tell you this, it ain't going until September," Sununu said.
BIA CEO Jim Roche said the news would like come as "music to a lot of the people on this webinar" who have been had hiring issues.
The governor addressed the supplement at his coronavirus briefing later on Thursday and said that because the state's unemployment rate is around three percent, eliminating the supplement won't make a big difference.
"The number of people who will likely be incentivized to come back into the work force, it's not tens and hundreds of thousands you might see in other states. You're talking five or ten thousand people," Sununu said. "Our economy's so strong everyone needs a work force right now but it's not going to be a game changer, per say."
Sununu earlier reinstated the requirement waived during the pandemic that requires those who are collecting to provide proof a job search effective May 23.
Sixteen states have dropped the supplement including Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming.
Biden on Monday said that those collecting unemployment by law must accept a "suitable offer of employment."
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH