Will Delaware end its extra $300 weekly federal unemployment? What the state says
Delaware does not have plans to join half the states in the U.S. that have chosen to end the $300 weekly unemployment checks from the federal government, according to the Department of Labor.
"We are not discussing the turning down of the federal supplement at this time," Department of Labor spokesperson Alejandro Bodipo-Memba said in an email.
"We will continue to monitor the situation as Delaware's economy continues to improve."
Twenty-five states, all led by Republican governors, have chosen to end their participation in the federal program, according to Fortune magazine.
That includes Maryland, where Gov. Larry Hogan announced Tuesday that his state will opt out of the supplemental benefits by July.
While Democratic-controlled Delaware doesn't look like it will follow suit anytime soon, it does plan on reinstating its pre-pandemic requirement that people receiving unemployment look for a job.
Starting June 12, Delawareans must look for work and register with the state's online job resource in order to receive any money. The extra $300 a week expires in September.
There are a plethora of job openings as businesses reopen in the wake of mass vaccinations against COVID-19, but employers are struggling to fill open positions despite thousands of jobless people still collecting unemployment.
Pro-business groups, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Republicans, have pinned the phenomenon on the extra $300 a week from Congress, arguing it is serving as a disincentive for people from going back to work.
But some jobless people in Delaware have said they are desperate to go back to work, saying ageism, child care and virtual learning are among the obstacles that have prevented them from landing jobs.
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Sarah Gamard covers government and politics for Delaware Online/The News Journal. Reach her at (302) 324-2281 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @SarahGamard.