Saturday June 12th, Missouri will end all pandemic related unemployment benefits to “address workforce shortages across the state.”

JEFFERSON CITY-Starting Saturday, June 12th, Missouri will stop participating in the six federal pandemic-related unemployment programs.

In a news release from May, Governor Parson said he is ending these unemployment programs to “address workforce shortages across the state.”

“From conversations with business owners across the state, we know that they are struggling not because of COVID-19 but because of labor shortages resulting from these excessive federal unemployment programs,” Governor Parson said.

The termination includes the following programs:

  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance
  • Emergency Unemployment Relief for Government Entities and Nonprofit Organizations
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation
  • 100 Percent Reimbursement of Short-Time Compensation Benefit Costs Paid Under State Law
  • Mixed Earner Unemployment Compensation

In the news release during the most recent economic downturn “Washington poured in $600 per week in addition to Missouri’s weekly benefit of up to $320,” Director Hui said.

“Even after the original $600 supplement expired, it was replaced by a federal supplement that provides an extra $300 per week on top of Missouri’s existing state benefit, meaning thousands of claimants continue to receive $620 per week or more,” Director Hui said.

According to the Department of Labor, in March of 2020, 3.3 million people filed for first time jobless benefits, when governors shut down most non-essential businesses.

On March 27th of 2020, Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law.

There are an additional 24 states that are also terminating federal pandemic-related unemployment programs.

ALABAMA, ALASKA, ARIZONA, ARKANSAS, GEORGIA, FLORIDA, IDAHO, INDIANA, IOWA, MARYLAND, MISSISSIPPI, MISSOURI, MONTANA, NEBRASKA, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NORTH DAKOTA, OHIO, OKLAHOMA, SOUTH CAROLINA, SOUTH DAKOTA, TENNESSEE, TEXAS, UTAH, WEST VIRGINIA, WYOMING.

One Missourian that is out of work Marshall White, feels he is being forced back into the labor market by unemployment ending.

“I've submitted about 50 applications in the last three weeks, I received one interview,” White said. “This job requires that you work 55 hours a week. Honestly, it felt like a prison sentence.”

With unemployment ending for all Missourians at the same time, White fears this will make it even more difficult to find a job.

“With everyone wanting to go back to work at the same time, it becomes incredibly difficult to differentiate yourself,” White said. “There's no lead up or build up or wind up to any of this, it just ends. Now everyone is in the same position without a job and everyone is going to apply to the same places.”

An O'Fallon job seeker, Robin Wirt said this unemployment change will bring difficulty to many people. 

"There's going to be a lot of tragedy in Missouri, come June," Wirt said. "I'm going to be living in my car in eight days."

Wirt said many people do not understand the difficulty in finding jobs.

"These manual labor 12 hour shifts on concrete floor doesn't work for everyone," Wirt said. "It's very different world."

However, President and CEO of JobPoint Steven Smith, said there are more job opportunities now than ever. 

"Basically, everyone whose not working is a free agent," Smith said. "They have many more options now than normal. Not everybody, but many others are taking more time in finding the next job."

These unemployment benefits are set to end Saturday June 12th.