A growing number of states including four that are canceling pandemic unemployment programs early are offering jobless workers up to 2,000 when they get a job. Its the latest effort by governors to combat concerns over labor shortages, but some experts say it may not work. Montana, Arizona, Oklahoma, and New Hampshire are offering the returntowork bonuses as an alternative to the unemployment programs that theyre eliminating later this month and in early July. The federal programs expire September 6. Colorado and Connecticut which are not opting out of the programs also have announced such initiatives.
Arizona which plans to cancel the unemployment programs on July 10 is providing the biggest onetime bonus of 2,000 for those who get a fulltime position and complete 10 weeks of work. The bonus is 1,000 for workers who accept a parttime offer. In Arizona, were going to use federal money to encourage people to workinstead of paying people not to work, Governor Ducey said in a statement in May, announcing the cutoff of the federal programs and the bonus initiative.
Arizonas bonus is still smaller than the 2,700 in benefits workers would get if the extra 300 in weekly benefits did not prematurely end. The returntowork bonus varies by state and can be different for fulltime and parttime workers. Requirements also differ.